Todd Philips’ Joker tells the story of a mentally ill man turned psychopathic killer after a couple really bad days. The story encapsulates you in it’s groggy dying atmosphere from the very beginning, and throughout it there’s always an off-putting tone that keeps you reeled in to the last second.
Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a child’s entertainment clown suffering from PBA (Pseudobulbar affect) which makes the person uncontrollably laugh or cry during inappropriate situations. Throughout the film this puts Arthur in some uncomfortable scenes and situations that push him farther and farther off the edge before his full descent into madness.
The movie is filled with crazy facades and mental hallucinations seen through the eyes of the protagonist, this can be quite confusing to figure out until the second half of the movie where the madness begins because of Arthur being taken off of his medications. Playing off a very similar plot to Martin Scorcese’s “The King of Comedy” and even getting Robert De Niro to play the big late night talk show host his in this film, who starred in Arthur’s place in Scorcese’s film.
Phillips’ Score, though having some bit of controversy with the inclusion of Gary Glitter’s Rock and Roll Part 2 is detrimental to the film’s success. Using the classic Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life as the main song of the story being played numerous times throughout to really get the irony across that stuff is being thrown to the wall.
Though this is a Joker movie, there is no Batman; no hero to foil the plan. Yes, Bruce Wayne is in the movie, though he’s only a boy. His father, Thomas Wayne plays a much bigger role due to Arthur’s mother’s illness, and her believing that the Wayne families’ wealth would “save them” in their trying time.
Joker seems to be all about catching a break. Just a guy trying not to have a crappy life, who also has a mental disability that makes it even harder to function in such a huge, awful city, while having to take care of a mother as well. Overall the film grasps the viewer from the very beginning with interesting camera angles and views of the rotten city of Gotham. Overall a good watch and would recommend