Directed By Todd Phillips
Written by Todd Phillips/Scott Silver
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
One of the most talked about movies of 2019 has finally landed but did it live up to the hype? Or was the criticism the film faced prior to release justified? Lets put on a happy face and find out.
Whether you liked the movie or not you cant deny the fact the entire movie itself was bold to begin with. Not only was there a decision to give one of the greatest villains of all time a solo movie, but it was also decided to give him an identity. Fans of DC have grown to accept that the Joker has no identity and his origins will usually remain a mystery, but in this film the creators gave Joker the name Arthur Fleck and I have to say the gamble payed off. The story revolves around a failing party clown and aspiring comedian with a love for dancing as he barely makes his way through the world. Arthur is hindered by a neurological disorder and a slight lack of talent. Todd Phillips and Scott Silver were playing with fire in their writing as they had to create an interesting character to face and overcome challenges while avoiding inadvertently making a truly evil character relatable. I can speak for myself at least that while I did feel sympathy for Arthur at times, in the end the poor treatment he received was no excuse for the horrible deeds he committed. I refuse to give any spoilers but I will tell you that as the story progressed I inched closer and closer to the edge of my seat, I felt anxiety and shock as many unpredictable scenes brought my hands that have become sweaty to cover my mouth. This rollercoaster ride of a story has many unexpected drops, loops and turns that left me leaving the theatre wanting to come back for another viewing.
While the writing was amazing it cant take all the credit for what made this movie good. The quality of this film is a perfect example of what happens when beautiful cinematography is amplified by a powerful score. Lawrence Sher and Hildur Guonadottir have earned so much praise when they combined their work to create breathtaking scenes. While writing, cinematography and music is crucial to a good film, it will all be for nothing if the star doesn’t match the quality of the work surrounding them. Joaquin Phoenix delivered the performance of a lifetime as the Joker. His dedication to the role was obvious as he pushed his body to an unhealthy weight to push the immersion of the audience even further. He was able to create many different laughs all unique in their own way and all perfect for the character. His unsettling and terrifying behavior sold me on the idea that this man was truly insane and it was a treat to seem him slowly go though a transformation of sorts as the movie progressed. I do realize Joaquin had the advantage of his own movie to showcase his acting skills as the Joker while previous actors did not have that privilege, but he still must not only be considered for the greatest Joker of all time but acting performance of the year.
Joker was not shown any mercy in the media backlash leading up to release but it overcame that and solidified itself as a straight up good movie. The stellar quality of Joker cannot be denied as every facet of this movie was excellent, from the cast to the writing, from music to the cinematography. I cannot praise this movie enough and I can assure you it is definitely worth your time.