Put On a Happy Face!

Joker review.


Photo by P.J. Osheske

PJO Reviews: bringing you his comments on the movies.

Joker is one of the best films of 2019, hands-down.

Joker, directed by Todd Phillips and starring the masterful Joaquin Phoenix, tells the untold origin story of the iconic Batman villain, The Joker. This film gives the first real cinematic identity to the Joker, making him a down-on-his-luck contract clown / aspiring stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck. The movie portrays Fleck’s descent into madness, taking the audience down this spiraling path that can essentially be summed up to be a series of unfortunate events.

I can praise literally every aspect of this movie. But what stands out the most is, unsurprisingly, Joaquin Phoenix. Phoenix is in almost every scene of this film and there is never a point where he loses the spotlight focus. He carries the weight of this film’s dark plot on his shoulders, and he flexes while doing so. If he doesn’t win the Academy Award for Best Actor this year I would be genuinely surprised.

A minute detail that still adds to this gritty 80s-NYC vibe is the soundtrack. The subtle yet jarring music playing while the Joker just dances in a park bathroom creates a feeling that can’t be replicated without explaining the entire life of Arthur Fleck.

Equally memorable was the use of Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life” as the closing song for the film.

This film, unlike others I’ve reviewed this year, shows passion. The people behind, and in front of, the camera realized the importance of a movie like Joker.

The film conveys the importance of mental health treatment and awareness, and even still ongoing class struggles between wealthy politicians and poor city workers. There was a fire fueling the making of this film, and that fire created art.

Joker isn’t your everyday comic book movie. I wouldn’t recommend taking your younger siblings out to see this R-rated flick, but I would recommend for everyone and anyone else to please see this visual masterpiece.

I’m giving Joker a 10/10, please go see this movie when you get the chance to!