Joker is a DC comic character that has been brilliantly done onscreen by Oscar winners Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger, so what could possibly be left to bring in terms of characterization that we haven’t seen? Joaquin Phoenix…that’s what.
Phoenix brings an emaciated, pill popping Joker back with vengeance, vigor and vivaciousness that will have your head swirling long after the credits have rolled.
Todd Phillips warned the audience at the world premiere to get ready because this film is ‘bonkers’ which doesn’t even begin to describe this complex, reimagined revisit into the Joker’s world.
Shocking in its originality and intensity, Joker provides a fully immersed performance from Phoenix who creatively gives audiences an unsettling, no holds barred portrait of the villain we thought we knew.
Phillips and Scott Silver’s original screenplay is a marvelous take of this fan favorite leaving nice rewarding reference points for fans.
Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) makes a living as a clown, performing for tourists and children as he dreams of fame as a stand-up comedian like his hero, talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro). But people never do what Arthur wants them to do, his inner torment eats at him, and his ailing mother keeps harping on everything she is owed by her former employers, the Wayne family. Life is so ugly that you just have to laugh.
As Arthur descends into a disturbing unhinged killer, Phoenix keeps us on edge revealing the soul of a man in crisis with his past, present and future.
Part of the pleasure of watching Joker stems from its technical brilliance, production design, cinematography and nods to Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver (which are quite recognizable throughout the film’s bloodline).
Hildur Guðnadóttir’s score drives the action to a fever pitch along with nods to the obvious clown classic ‘Send in The Clowns,’ an old R&B joint ‘Everybody Plays The Fool’ and Rat Pack favorite ‘That’s Life.’
Joker is certifiable proof that everything old is indeed new again!