In a world much like our own one of the most infamous villains of our times is brought to life in the most terrifying way possible.
Joaquin Phoenix stars as the number one Batman villain in a new twist on the origins of the Joker as well as giving maybe one of the most important looks into today’s society we might have been given in a long while.
I honestly loved this film.
Joker is one of my all time favourite villains in any media. Every version of him brings something new to the table and honestly he is as terrifying as he is hilarious in most things. The Arkham game version has been my favourite for a little while now but Phoenix’s take on this character might be my favourite for life.
What makes it so good is that this version of the Joker is very real.
Gone is a comic book villain in a world full of crazy characters and here we have Arthur Fleck, a man who still lives at home with his mother, who never knew his father, who suffered from uncontrollable laughter and was struggling to live day to day.
One of the majority of a city, the ones who are spoken down to and who have to deal with those above them looking at them like they are nothing. Just struggling to live his life and losing any help the city could give him. Lost and alone he turns to his imagination, to a world he can control and when he finally had enough of being other peoples punching bags, of being beaten down and trod on he turned to the violence that had been forced on him.
In that violence he found infamy, he lighted a rebellion and suddenly Arthur Fleck was no longer some loser but the face of a movement that was hitting back on those who did him wrong.
For me it was Flecks interview with Murray Franklin, played by Robert De Niro, that really stood out. It reflected on how real humans feel in reality right now. We know this is happening because we see it on TV, we see people who have been lost in society and know nothing but the anger building inside of them with no help to be given. Mental health is still a issue that people sit and say is important but funding to help, professionals who understand and care and people actually being as understanding as they say they will be on social media is lacking and people fall through the cracks.
That is why I love the film because Joker becomes a villain that we see on TV every other day, he becomes a normal human that becomes a monster but we get a very real and very concerning look at how we as a society created that monster. Instead of pointing fingers at one person “his community should have known, what about his mother, what about this person, what about that person…” we see WHY these people didn’t see it and how a little bit of pressure here, there and everywhere ended with Arthur Fleck becoming the Joker.
Of course it truly was Phoenix that carried the entire film.