Dan Skip Allen
The Joker has been used a few times before in movie history. Way back in 1966, Ceaser Romero portrayed him in Batman: The Movie, based on the TV series starring Adam West and Bert Ward. In 1989 Jack Nicholsen donned the green hair dye and make up. He added a more twisted take to the character. In 2008, Heath Ledger created the most violent incarnation of the character. That performance won him an Oscar posthumously. Jaoquin Phoenix has given us the most damaged and deranged Joker yet in the latest film Joker by Todd Phillips.
Todd Phillips was inspired by two Martin Scorsese classics when writing and directing this film. It’s safe to say that Joker is the love child of Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. If your a fan of those two films your going to love this film. Robert Deniro actually switches roles from the deranged psychopath in Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle, to talk show host Murray Franklin in Joker. He is fantastic in this role. It makes sense that Todd Phillips cast him.
Joaquin Phoenix has had a stellar career over the last two decades. He first came onto the scene as Comodus in Gladiator, which he garnered an Oscar nomination. Later,he portrayed Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. Last year he had a great year with four movies out in theaters but none of them compare to his role as Arthur Fleck in Joker.
Author Fleck is a sad damaged man who works as a clown at children’s’ parties or on a corner advertising store closures. He lives with and takes care of his elderly mother. He has a condition that makes him spontaneously break out into laughter. All of these things in his life add to him being pretty miserable. His co-workers don’t like him and he gets picked on by pretty much everyone he encounters. It’s safe to say Author just doesn’t want to live in this world that hates him. A lot of people can relate to this character. It makes sense that Jaoquin Phoenix goes all in and lost 50 pounds in the process of preparing for this role. All of this helps him give the performance of his career.
Joker is the portrait of a broken man who finds his way once an act of violence happens. This is the catalyst to a whole new outlook on life. He doesn’t let people mess with him anymore. This makes him the man he always wanted to be and who he was meant to be in his own mind. This film gives a message that it’s not okay to pick on, abuse or harass people. Because they just may turn into a raving lunatic set on destroying everything. The country needs this movie to show how these things can affect someone.
Joker is not in the DCEU. It’s a standalone film but has some great cameos from popular Gotham residents. Set in a dirty, grimey Gotham, Joker is vividly realized. As the film goes by we hear a haunting score and it is phenomenal. I can’t imagine a better version of this character. Every aspect of this film is perfect in my opinion. Todd Phillips directed an absolute masterpiece in every sense of the word. Joaquin Phoenix gives an Oscar worthy performance that he has sorely been missing. I can’t recommend Joker any more than I already have in this review. Go see this masterpiece!
Dan Skip Allen