Phoenix Delivers the Punch Line; Oscar- Caliber Performance of the Clown Prince of Crime.

(Photo Provided by Solis Art & Entertainment Magazine)

Posted on 11/20/19

By, Matthew Holmes – Staff Writer

Seeing the Joker on the night of its release gave me no sense of hesitation in creating a review, but like any great movie there must be more than just one viewing in order to fully review and rate it.  

Joker is a movie that gives us a fresh take on the many origins of one of the most famous comic villains of all time, Batman’s arch nemesis, the clown prince of time, The Joker. 

The film is directed by Todd Philips who is, ironically, most known for his comedy films such as The Hangover and Dumb and Dumber. Famed director Martin Scorsesse also had a part in the creation of this film as he was a co-producer during the beginning of production. This is evident in the movies’ various cinematic references to some of Scoresse’s classic character studies films like, Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy.

The movie is set in Gotham City in 1981 and follows the main protagonist, Arthur Fleck, who works as a clown-for-hire and lives alone with his mother. 

Arthur is an aspiring stand up comic with a history of mental illness and is constantly mistreated by society over the course of the film. The film is completely set within Arthur Fleck’s point of view and  follows his path into madness.

The film was undoubtedly taken over by Joaquin Phoenix’s star performance of Arhtur Fleck/Joker. 

Phoenix, who has been known to take on daring and eccentric roles, wanted to accept the challenge of portraying the Joker, especially following up the Oscar-Winning Performance by Heath Ledger as the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008). 

The plot moves up and down soley on Phoenix’s different facial expressions and disturbingly painful laughter. The notable supporting characters of  Robert DeNiro and Zazie Beetz do not have too much screen time, but serve their role successfully in Arthur’s story.

The soundtrack attached fits the film perfectly. With iconic songs “White Room” by Cream, and ‘Rock and Roll, Pt. 2’ by Gary Glitter, emphasizing the film’s most iconic scenes. 

Joker is open to many interpretations, for every watch you give is sweeter than the last. It moves at a dim and slow pace, but challenges you to pick up on small details snuck into each scene.

Key lessons that can be learned from Joker are to not undermine the need for social workers and mental health in society today, and the mistreatment or lack of care for the mentally ill.

Joker is a movie for anyone who has an interest in comics and cinematography. If you like great acting and a plot that crescendos to a climactic finish this movie is for you.

Overall this movie ranks at 5 out of 5 stars. I think it is highly likely that this movie will be considered as the movie of the year, and that Joaquin Phoenix will receive an Oscar for his role.


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