By Siddhant Raizada (Lucknow, India)
Joker is a drama movie in the vein of movies like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, it is a horror movie without any jump-scares or any other horror movie tropes and it is a comic-book origin movie about the most notorious and iconic villain. This movie will make you uncomfortable very often, but ultimately it will force upon you some difficult questions that most movies shy away from asking. This is one of the few comic-book movies which will force you to think for hours after you have seen it.
Joker is a movie about Arthur Fleck (played brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix) who had some psychopathic tendencies but due to deteriorating conditions of Gotham and certain events that took place in the span of the movie leads him to lose it completely and become the villain we all know as Joker. The movie in its 2-hour runtime focuses completely on Arthur Fleck and shows his descent into becoming the Joker and that journey is very well showcased, sometimes it is so realistic that some might consider it almost horror-like. The main credit goes to Joaquin Phoenix for such brilliant acting definitely Oscar-worthy, he is the main reason that the journey is believable you may feel bad for the character but you will also be able to feel the darkness deep inside which endorse his actions, the darkness which is slowly unravelled throughout the span of the movie. The rest of the supporting casts were great as well especially Robert De Niro.
The movie is directed by Todd Philips who before this had only directed movies like Hangover and Due Date. This movie was a great departure from his usual type of movies but he pulled it off, you could tell he is a big Scorsese fan as this movie is heavily inspired by Taxi Driver. Like Taxi Driver this movie is a bit of a slow burner and slowly picks up the pace which really helps in understanding the character a lot better especially since this movie was a character study. As the descent into madness started so does the pacing of the movie.
The cinematography was very beautiful, the tone of the movie really helped in showcasing the deteriorating Gotham and characters. The soundtrack of the movie was also very good again I think it was very similar to Taxi Driver, It wasn’t omnipresent, though when played it increased the tension very easily.
I am really glad that a movie like this exists. When comic-book movies are so saturated it is important that we have directors and actors who take risks like these. Projects like these (if successful) could break the monotony that has shrouded the comic-book genre. You may not end up liking the movie, but that should not stop you from recognising it for its uniqueness and its bold take. Having said that, I really loved this movie to bits and would love to see it again and again for its mesmerising performances, beautiful cinematography, lovely score and especially for its unique take.
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