Learn Paul Shirey’s take HERE!
PLOT: Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely, usually bullied man residing in squalor with this mom (Frances Conroy) in Gotham Metropolis. As town’s gulf between the haves and have nots widens, Fleck’s fragile mindset teeters on the point of madness, threatening to set him off like a powder keg with disastrous penalties for each town and anybody unfortunate sufficient to be in his orbit.
REVIEW: Individuals are not prepared for JOKER. Everybody’s speaking about this as a supervillain origin story, however that doesn’t do it justice, with this as unsettling a portrait of insanity as any I’ve seen. It’s an unsightly uncompromising R-rated psychological thriller that can go away many rattled and show to be among the many most provocative films of the yr. In fact, it’s a must-see.
Directed by Todd Phillips is a mode that can probably erase any reminiscence of him as a comedy director, this gruelling drama is, as marketed, paying homage to TAXI DRIVER and KING OF COMEDY, though the gritty fashion appears extra within the vein of Sidney Lumet, whereas the uncompromising method the film places us squarely within the mindset of a remorseless killer brings to thoughts Michael Mann’s MANHUNTER, albeit with none heroes to save lots of us.
For Joaquin Phoenix, it’s probably a signature function, with him as iconic as anybody who’s performed the half earlier than. It helps that his Joker has subsequent to nothing in widespread with any model of the character we’ve seen earlier than. There are not any wisecracks, and the character isn’t made enticing in the best way Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger have been – mainly, there are not any scenes the place Joker’s made to be cool.
If something, we’re imagined to be repelled by this deeply unsettling character, who begins as a strolling tragedy however turns into a monster past anybody’s sympathy, with the acts he commits on this far past what we’ve ever seen in a Batman film. Handily incomes its R-rating, a film like this could by no means get made by a mainstream studio have been it not for its roots within the Batman franchise, however it’s laborious to observe this and ever think about Warner Bros and DC folding Phoenix’s model into any of their PG-13 franchise movies.
Phoenix dominates the movie so completely it’s laborious to single out the supporting forged, pretty much as good as they’re, as everybody’s half, besides Frances Conroy’s as his indifferent from actuality mom, solely ever exists within the orbit of the Joker. Thus, everybody’s display time is surprisingly restricted, together with Zazie Beetz as his new neighbor, Robert De Niro because the discuss present host he idolizes (who solely actually has one huge scene) and Marc Maron, right here in nearly a cameo. The threads connecting it to the Wayne household are there, together with appearances by Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen – who amusingly additionally appeared in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES), Alfred (Douglas Hodge) and a younger Bruce Wayne.
Exterior of Phoenix, the movie’s huge signatures are the cinematography by Lawrence Sher, that might put him up there with the giants, Hildur Guðnadóttir’s (“Chernobyl”) rating, and naturally Philips, who gives up some chilling moments depicting the ecstasy Joker feels when he’s at his most murderous (together with a showstopping second set to Gary Glitter’s “Rock n’ Roll Half 2”).
Definitely, JOKER is the movie to see this fall, and one that can little question grow to be the water cooler occasion of the yr, and the one everybody can have an opinion on. It’s most likely essentially the most provocative, uncompromising American film to be made since FIRST REFORMED, the distinction being extra folks will see this in a day than did throughout that movie’s total run. Such is the facility of comedian guide films. When you suppose, with Christopher Nolan, you noticed the darkest model of the Batman universe you’d ever actually get, suppose once more.