Joker Movie Checks Most Boxes, But Not All

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Joker Movie Checks Most Boxes, But Not All

Vishnu Ramesh, Staff Writer

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“Some people just want to watch the world burn.”

Though Alfred Pennyworth uttered these lines in a completely unrelated movie, he talks about the character of the Joker, the new Todd Phillips’ movie about the beloved Batman villain.

Upon first hearing about the movie, I had my doubts. Why would Joker ever need a backstory? After all, it was never really an important part of who he currently was. But I was wrong. The movie was met with incredible critical acclaim. Going into the theater, I had my hopes high.

The movie was extremely good, though I don’t particularly think it was the masterpiece that critics said it was.

First off, you cannot talk about this movie without praising Joaquin Phoenix’s insane amount of dedication to the role of Arthur Fleck, going lengths to lose tons of weight in order to dedicate himself to the character. In the scenes where Fleck learns more about his mother’s past and the scenes where he is laughing as a substitute for crying, you can truly feel the pain in his voice and see the sorrow in his eyes. The rest of the ensemble did their jobs very well, including Robert De Niro, who played Murray Franklin, a talk show host who Arthur Fleck had idolized.

The story was great, though some scenes may leave the audience confused as to whether they actually happened or whether they are completely delusions created by the ill mind of Arthur Fleck. Some scenes are brutal and bloody, but by no means is this an action film. Instead we get some extremely poignant scenes that leave you feeling like your heart is weighted down, which accompany Fleck’s descent into madness. The haunting strings in the score of the movie punctuate this descent and increase in intensity as the movie progresses. 

If there’s anything that detracts from the movie for me, it was the introduction of Bruce Wayne’s arc into the movie. I feel like Wayne’s origins as Batman should not have been tied to the Joker, and instead this movie should be considered a standalone film. I’m not particularly fond of the idea of this movie launching a new universe for DC, rather, it should be considered its own. All in all the movie was great,and I would recommend anyone who likes a good plot to go and watch the movie for themselves.