Matthew J. Walker
The media craze surrounding the “Joker” movie comes nowhere near the insanity the character himself is: a character we’ve gotten to know all-too-well over the years. But this latest iteration of the The Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is unlike any Joker portrayal we’ve seen before.
If you’re expecting a comic book movie, this is not the film for you. If you’re expecting a movie for the whole family to see, I strongly suggest you reconsider. This movie plays like an episode of “Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer,” with every gruesome detail included.
The movie serves as an intense character study of Arthur Fleck, The Joker, in this iteration. Fleck is a character afflicted with a twisted form of Tourette’s syndrome, which causes him to laugh uncontrollably at inappropriate moments. This disorder leads him to trouble, as characters throughout the film ridicule and bully the poor man.
Arthur Fleck’s seemingly innocent nature takes a turn in the movie following a moment that leads him down a dark path; a path suited for an insane character like The Joker.
Typically, comic book movies have a light-hearted way of unfolding a villain’s evil deeds, masking the actualities of the characters actions with some form of censorship. In this film, however, very little is concealed. Nearly every evil act committed by Fleck is shown to the audience, never turning away from his psychotic assault on Gotham City.
You get more than just a glimpse into the life and mind of a mentally-deranged man. A man that, as the movie progresses, had enough of the cruelties all-to-prevalent in Gotham City. The film takes you through every stage, every dark moment, leading up to Arthur Fleck’s transformation into The Joker.
The film analyzes and draws conclusions as to how normal people might react to a character like The Joker. Gotham City news agencies broadcast his heinous crimes to the public, leading to what seems like thousands of Gothamites becoming inspired by The Joker’s actions.
“Joker” is rated R for a good reason. The violence throughout the movie is constant and incredibly realistic. At times, the being at the edge of your seat sensation becomes exhausting, as you wonder how Fleck is going to react to a situation or what he’ll do next.
I highly recommend this movie. It really is a deep character study into the mind of a truly sick individual, and requires more than just a single viewing to understand. “Joker” is a movie intended for mature audiences—if you’re expecting an Avengers film franchise-like experience, perhaps you should sit “Joker” out.
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