The Joker

The official poster for the movie. Credit:

Sam Ketchem, Web Editor

As the lights dim and the music began to play, I felt a sense of exciting dread. I knew this movie was going to be great, but I was also terrified of it. By the end of the movie, I was astounded.

The journey “The Joker” takes the audience on is one full of sadistic sadness. The main character Arthur Fleck is a troubled performance clown who lives in the dilapidated city of Gotham. He is clearly mentally disturbed and the abuse he receives from random strangers around him does not encourage stability. He has almost no friends and is completely isolated from society. The societal neglect for his case coupled with his own internal issues lead him to go on a rampage of death and destruction.

One of the highlights of the film is Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as Fleck. In order to prepare for the role, Phoenix lost 50 pounds in order to appear weak and skeleton like. The great emotion he displays can be seen in little actions throughout the movie. His interpretive dances,  insane asides, and violent actions all show the deep complexities present in Fleck’s character. Phoenix will almost certainly be nominated for an Oscar because of this performance and it is definitely well deserved.

The theme of the piece is certainly one that has multiple applications today. The income inequality, social stratification, and ostracization of the mentally unstable found in Gotham is clearly present in society. The film explores the idea that if these problems are left unchecked, some of the most vile and ruthless aspects of humanity will be brought into the limelight. And although the film has received backlash because of the violent actions portrayed in the film, many critics are missing the point. The creators of the piece are not glorifying the violence. They are only showing that it will rear its head when it is left to fester and grow.

Overall, this movie is great. The superb acting, superior writing, beautiful score, and exquisite effects envelop the audience in almost two hours of a horrendous yet enticing masterpiece.