The clown has been released. The infamous DC super villain. The Joker 2019
Todd Phillips‘s Joker 2019 blew the theaters even before it was released. It received minutes of standing ovation in Venice Film Festival and Oscar talks are already in the wind. All the deserving credits of course goes to the director, the finely skilled cast like Joaquin Phoenix, the writers and others. The creators stated that the movie was to be a stand alone without any direct connections with the other characters of the DC universe. Also, the origin was a little similar but yet majorly different from what was illustrated in the comics ie. The Killing Joke. So, without further ado lets dive right in and analyze what made it so epic and if it truly is worth the buzz.
The main plot revolves around Arthur Fleck, a struggling comedian in Gotham city. He is raised by a single mother who is pretty old now. The movie starts with Arthur being jumped on by some roadside thugs in an alley. The first half travels around his adversities, much of which affects his mental health causing him to seek refuges inside psychotic drugs sponsored by social services. He has this condition which makes him laugh uncontrollably at times when he is uncomfortable or hurt.
The story paces as Arthur loses himself due to a bad day which is portraited in the DC comics as well and his pursuit to reveal the Joker. Now, I won’t pen down the entire story here as I guess all of my readers have already seen the movie.
The story was simple yet heart hitting. Dialogues like “All I have are negative thoughts” and “I used to think my life was a tragedy but now I realize it’s a comedy” remained with the readers long after the credits rolled. What will also remain in our hearts is the truth. What exactly was it? What was reality and what was fantasy? For you see, Joker in the DC said that he remembers everything faintly and that he would like to have multiple pasts if possible. Therefore, the true origins of the Joker are yet to be known. Similarly, here Arthur aka Joker imagined a lot in his mind which was understood by many of us as the film progressed but there was a lot yet to be known and answered and many of us did miss those mysteries lying around the corner.
For instance, everyone knew that even though no one laughed in his club performance, he imagined it to be a success. Later, we see the original clip being viewed and mocked by talk show host, Murray Franklin in his show. This reminds us of the time when Arthur imagined being on the show as an audience who was later called up and loved by the host himself. Surely, what the scene portraited was the absence of a fatherly figure in Arthur’s life which is deeply felt.
Again, father figure reminds me of the letter Arthur’s mom wrote to Tom Wayne signifying their unconventional relationship and also revealing that Arthur was Bruce Wayne’s half-brother. This led to Arthur getting punched by his alleged father, later revealing his adoption papers, his abusive childhood and his mother’s mental conditions. What remains a mystery is if Arthur was actually from Wayne’s bloodline as the rogue Tom Wayne could have easily forged his signatures. A small Easter egg that many of us didn’t notice was that the doctor who treated his mom was a villain according to the comics.
Also, his neighbor cum fantasy lover? How true was that? Was everything just inside his head? Did his talk with the social worker happen after the events of Joker? Or was the film just a portrayal of his negative thoughts?
A storytelling with different perspectives.
Joker 2019 will be remembered for centuries to come because of this man. Joaquin Phoenix has been doing a series of artistic works one after another. He happens to be a well reputed man of standards in Hollywood and surely films like the Joker where the character is strong and demands challenges is what excites this actor.
Joaquin Phoenix has lost weight which, he says, the character demanded and this inversely affected him mentally. Well, I hope it helped him act out the crown prince of crime. The skilled artist had also practiced laughs which he auditioned only before Todd Phillips himself. But what we didn’t notice were the subtle nuances. If seen and heard properly, he had three laughs which was a master stroke as an actor. One, which expressed his amusement. This took place when he initially saw himself in television. Second, his performance laugher used for comedy sketches. For example in his office where he stops it as soon as he leaves the room. And last was the crooked one of all, the incontrollable laughter triggered by his condition.
Isn’t this man a genius?
Joker was everything from a sad suppressed struggling comedian maybe in need of a hug to a brutal cold-blooded criminal portraited so boldly in the metro scene. He was also a bitter truth spitting maniac clown who had seen enough of this world’s comedy.
Joker 2019 was a total masterpiece in which each scene poked the readers with such raw and bold emotions. The calmness amongst the sudden chaos in the bathroom dance scene. The cold yet dark comedic murder of his colleagues in his own house with a sudden burst using scissors. The chaotic psychic joker in the climax and the tragic depressed Arthur.
What also impressed me was the remaking of the legendary murder scene of Bruce Wayne’s parents and how the film showed that such contrasting characters like Joker and Batman were made under the same circumstances.
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