Joker Surpasses My Expectations

Joker 2019 dance scene4star 2“I used to think my life was a tragedy. But now I realize, it’s a fucking comedy.”

I saw Joker last weekend, and I still feel uncomfortable. Does anyone know where I can find Joaquin Phoenix? I’d like to deliver his Oscar personally.

There’s a lot of mixed emotions surrounding this movie, but whatever your feelings are, Joker’s arthouse superhero movie vibe has carved a new path for the superhero genre and how these films can potentially look in the future.

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In Gotham City, mentally-ill comedian Arthur Fleck embarks on a downward-spiral of social revolution and bloody crime. The path brings him face-to-face with his infamous alter-ego: “The Joker”.

After at least a month of discourse surrounding Joker, the movie is finally out. Joker raked in a whopping $93.5 million in North America this weekend, making it the biggest opening ever for an October film – generating the biggest 2019 opening for a Warner Bros film that was previously held by Venom’s $80 million opening from last year. Holy shit, right?

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Written by Hangover writer-director Todd Phillips and The Fighter co-writer Scott Silver, Joker is both a mesmerizing and excruciating watch. Some newly found fans of lead Joaquin Phoenix are now saying they will watch him do anything. But…where have you been? He may be somewhat batshit, but he’s always been a great actor.

This isn’t Phoenix’s first rodeo; he’s been acting since he was eight, and has earned three Oscar nominations for movies like Gladiator (which he should have won tbh), Walk the Line, and The Master. Now, I think we all can agree, he’s coming for nomination four.

Okay, this is the part where I admit that I struggled with the level of empathy that is demanded for the character of Arthur. It’s hard to see the undeniably great comic book movie deep inside when you’re sort of rooting for a murderous villain. Let me be clear that I wasn’t rooting for him, but I saw a side of him that I couldn’t see in Heath Ledger’s Joker…simply because we weren’t given a backstory.

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“No one was sure what you’d get when you crossed a Scorsese-like tale of a mentally-ill loner with the system of franchise superhero filmmaking, but it was easier to turn a blind eye to Joker’s madness than to try to help it.” via Slate

Even Phoenix admit that he was overwhelmed and terrified by the script and it’s character stating that “usually when I’m scared of something, it makes me feel like I have to go towards it. I don’t think we have enough of that in movies, particularly in a superhero genre movie.

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I couldn’t give this movie a perfect score, but I came close. Joker challenges viewers and raises the question of what kind of response can you elicit from audiences with such a monstrous character. It’s a movie that’s going to make you undoubtedly uncomfortable, and people are having conversations about it, because it disturbs them.

I can’t have too much sympathy for the devil, and how he represents the anti-rich, but it’s an interesting narrative that’s going to challenge you regardless of how you feel.

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