The most expected and controversial movie of 2019 is here. The hype around Joker 2019 was enormous. I understand the justified worry considering the mass shooting during the last joker movie in Colorado in 2012 during the screening of The Dark Knight Rises. I understand the prohibition of joker costumes to the movie, or demanding increased security but demanding banning the movie because of the potential threat is over the top. Media has been spooking the viewers for weeks ahead about the danger, morbidity, and twisted nature of the movie and almost expecting another massacre.
All of that only added to the anticipation of the Joker movie.
Besides, how could you believe only the worst about humanity?
Obviously, none of the threads has been justified so far so the media stopped focusing on the potential danger of the movie and switched focus to the outstanding performance of Joaquin Phoenix.
It’s impossible to get online now and not notice the praise and critique the Joker movie is getting.
So how do you watch a movie that’s been generating Oscar buzz even before its premiere, without getting your expectations too high?
Well, you can’t. You just hope for the best.
There are 2 things I was worried about before I saw the movie:
- Joker’s movie is gonna give justification to Joker’s terrible actions because of traumatic childhood or mental illness.
- Sexualization of the character.
I wasn’t sure DC was up to it considering their half-assed movies recently but they hit the gold mine with this one. DC found their calling in dark, twisted comic book representations with (hopefully) no additional sequels or prequels.
Just this one movie. This piece of art. That’s all it takes to tell the story of the Joker.
I just love how they managed to portray Joker without a sympathy card. Sure you feel bad for the poor guy who’s taking so much beating from like. You feel sorry that he’s been abused as a child but then he kills his mother without a blink of an eye and you simply understand. It doesn’t apologize, it just clarifies things.
There’s a wild discussion going on about whether Heath Ledgers or Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Joker was better. We can all collectively agree on one thing. Jared Leto as a Joker was pure crap.
The Dark Knight Rises was like the only movie I had on my old laptop so I watched it a bunch of times and I was disturbingly fascinated by Joker.
There is one major difference between those 2 Jokers.
Heathers Joker thrives from chaos, from anarchy, from basic breaking of the rules. Which means he acknowledges the rules in the first place. He sees people behaving in certain manners and patterns and “all it takes is a little push” for them to cross those lines. He’s trying to make a point. To win. To watch the world burn. He’s going after “something“.
Joaquin’s Joker, on the other hand, lives the purest nihilism. There are no rules, no society, no system, no point or consequences to your actions so do whatever and however absurd it is. Nothing matters and you have no idea what’s real anymore. He doesn’t stop to explain his evil masterplan. He doesn’t feel obligated to explain his madness to anyone and not at all to the society that made his life a fucking comedy. Joker doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion because it doesn’t matter. He’s got nothing to lose. The only person he seems to lectures is Murray, right before he tells a joke, kill the guy, and dance of the stage.
Joker’s nihilism shows in his illogical behavior, like bursting into little pseudo dances in the most inappropriate situations.
You might argue that all of his kills were driven by passion, injustice, self-preservation, or revenge, therefore, he can’t be viewed as nihilistic. But he never said he killed those people because they were bad people. He doesn’t view his kills as morally good or justified. He did it because it was funny.
The joke is humanity’s willingness to bend morality by its favor.
If it was him laying on the ground and not those wealthy boys, people would walk past him. That’s the sad illogical truth. It seems like Arthur is the only one noticing this injustice. He feels even more alone than a mentally ill psychopath who just killed 4 people and his mother ever could. That’s why when the clowns acknowledge the wrongfulness of the world he finally feels seen.
Like he exists in a world that makes no sense and finally he accepts that.
Suddenly the color scheme changes, his posture changes as he embraces the crazy.
All over the movie, we see Arthur climb the staircase with his head down, with a dark shadow over him trying to fit into a society that’s not meant for people with mental illness.
By the end of the movie we see Arthur in bright red/yellow colors, visibly healthier and happier descending the staircase down to his madness. He let go of everything that has been weighing him down and even his dances are more energetic now.
He’s no longer on medications and the quote :
“I hope my death makes more cents than my life”
hits even harder when you realize that most of the people with mental illness don’t get the right treatment because of financial reasons.
What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like trash?
You get what you fuckin’ deserve!
To truly appreciate the movie you either have to go through something traumatic, which most of us have, or have a great sense of compassion that usually comes from going through something traumatic.
This movie is raw. Brutal. Honest. And that’s not what you want to see. It’s too real. You don’t want to be called out like that.
Many critics claim that Joker is animalistic, violent, disturbing, senseless…
I believe that’s a pointless point about a movie, whose main point is pointlessness.
The message of the movie is to “eat the rich“. Society is creating the monsters with its lack of compassion and capitalism and then they sweep them under the rug. Joker is lifting the rug and everyone is like “How are there so many clowns?”.
Media claims this movie will create real-life Jokers while completely missing the point. I say let’s start treating people with fucking decency and prevent Jokers from rising.
Starting with treating people with mental illness as people and not some freaks. Joker’s murders were not the results of his illness, but the outcome of the disturbing life situation he fell into. That’s what you get from the unbelievable expectation that mentally ill people can function normally in society without proper treatment.
The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.
Sadly, I and over 970milions of people with some mental illness can relate.
This movie is outstanding with its acting performances, cinematography, directing, and basic message. I’m not denying plenty of disturbing moments, I’ve got goosebumps several times like when Arthur drew a smile with his own blood or every time he busted into his psychotic laugh.
I say ignore the critique that mostly comes from the rich feeling triggered, and enjoy the masterpiece that is this Todd Phillips Joker (2019) movie.