An incredible piece of comic book cinema, tailor made to impact so many future features of its own with absolute ease
Offering a genuine out-of-body central performance from Joaquin Phoenix, Joker, Todd Phillips’ version of Batman’s greatest adversary is alarming, astounding and groundbreaking, as it takes the character, and puts him in a world so fitting, Phoenix’s performance becomes utterly encapsulating.
Living in a city where his mundane life matters so little, performance clown Arther Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) begins to move differently when a series of ill events changes his life for the worse. Troubled by a mental affliction that causes him to spontaneously burst into laughter, Fleck is continuously seen as an outsider and a fiend, especially when his failed attempt at becoming a stand up comedian makes mainstream television. Desperate to change his fortunes, Fleck changes his path, becoming a character of an incredibly unpredictable nature.
Ultimately, Joker would not be the same without Phoenix. The linchpin of the entire production, his performance makes the film the confusing, enthralling, and thoroughly engaging watch Phillips was clearly trying to produce. It’s perilously tense nature stems from Phoenix’s incredible understanding of the screenplay, and his transferal of that into Arthur Fleck’s creation and his sequential transition into the Joker.
The film’s refusal to really helm in on the superhero side of the Joker, but hold strong with its roots in comic book history actively boosts its credibility and its power, with its standalone nature offering the chance at greater success than any ‘superhero’ film has before, un-detained by such a populist moniker. Joker is once again proof that real effects, quality drama and top-tier acting can transform any media into a passionate, original piece of film making.
Beautiful and harrowing, with some final moments of genuine perfect suspense, Joker is a wonderful example of exactly how far cinema has come, and how much it still owes to the past with each and every release. Whether it stems a refresh to the Batman franchise, or remains standalone, it’s an incredible piece of comic book cinema, tailor made to impact so many future features of its own with absolute ease.
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