Joker (2019) – Movie Review

Joker is a psychological crime-drama thriller film directed by Todd Phillips. The film is written by Todd Phillips and Scott Silver. The film is based on DC Comics’ iconic character the Joker.

The film sets in 1981 in Gotham City and follows Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a failed stand-up comedian who is living a miserable life along with his mother Penny Fleck (Frances Conroy). The film depicts Arthur’s sorrowful and mentally-ill character which turns to the life of crime and becomes the agent of chaos.

The film tells the origin story of the Joker, which shows who he was? how he became what he is? And thanks to the gripping screenplay by Todd Phillips and Scott Silver, it answers all the questions in an impactful and detailed way. This is the first time when some live-action film has captured the Joker’s origin; And that too in a very grounded and raw manner, which has even gone beyond Nolan’s depiction of the Joker, concerning realism. These two portrayals of Joker cannot be compared as both of them falls into the completely different genres of the films, and both have gritty and extraordinary performances. But, this film dissects the psychology behind Joker’s criminal mindset and makes it believable. And once again shows how the madness is like gravity, all it takes is a little push.

Joaquin Phoenix, a brilliant actor, weighs the whole film on his shoulders with his commanding screen presence, and his powerful portrayal of joker will leave his mark on you. The way he walks, the way he laughs, the way he moves, the way he talks, everything is just excellent. The film also stars legendary actor Robert Di Nero in the role of Murry Franklin, a comedy talk show host, who plays a significant role in Arthur’s downfall. Along with a moving story, the film also has some fan-service and nostalgic moments, which makes it highly entertaining.

The film has a detailed character arc. In the first half of the film, you’ll sympathize with Arthur’s character, you’ll understand his feelings, But in the second half, you’ll be scared of him and the darkness inside him. And things start exploding when he finds sanity in his insanity, which was the biggest and mind-blowing takeaway for me from the film. And you can see these changes happening gradually, smoothly, step-by-step. So, along with the character, the audience will also have the same journey, and only a few character-centric films can do that.

The film has stunning cinematography, every shot feels like a beautiful painting. The film has a perfect background score which complements the film in the best way. It is not a regular superhero adventure film, but more of, it is a thrilling drama that has a dark tone throughout its run-time. It also has many disturbing and violent moments, so if you prefer light-weight films, then you can stay away from it.

Verdict : A well-thought and well-put-together adaptation of the Joker. A masterpiece. And, don’t forget to watch it in IMAX.

Rating : 4.6/5

Check trailer here :

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