Very often we communicate through different ways. Sometimes the message is bigger than the medium itself.
There’s been some time since Joker was out. It’s been so many months actually, yet today it is still one of the best movies out there. That’s hard to say in this age where most movies are just about as good as they get. The level of movies has undoubtedly increased over the years. We now have new entrants like Parasite winning awards and even coming out as good, if not better than movies that come from big studios. I recently watched Knives Out which also another excellent movie from a small studio.
Joker is by no means a small movie. The studio behind it has been making movies for the longest time and the budget wasn’t even that small either. It was quite a big production, but the scale wasn’t near the competition like the Avengers, or the other movies from the Justice League. This was all by design. It appears the strategy that was taken by the DCEU wasn’t just failing, it was falling behind the MCU and everyone was talking about it. One movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe was enough to crush two of DC’s high-budget, high-profile movies.
This is what Joker was going up against. An already sour relationship that DC movies had and a massive force from Disney in the hands of the MCU. What was astonishing was how the focus was still kept on the narrative and to telling the story that otherwise could not be told in any other way. While Joker is taken generally to a supervillain, in fact, more like the best villain. His story was more about what he went through not about what he can do.
I cannot help but compare this Joker with the one introduced by Christopher Nolan. The Dark Knight was a good movie, particularly because the Joker was more of an entertaining Joker. People realized they could fall in love with him and relate to him. His antics weren’t driven by monetary gains or other typical motives that often drive villains. His motive was to get to the very soul of Gotham. Find it and use it to destroy Batman. That was the best portrayal of the Joker on screen and a good showcase of his character.
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
That kind of Joker could not be remade in any current capacity. There were many moving pieces and a Joker in that vein would have only just failed.
The only other way to have gone was to start with Joker’s origins and speak of his origins from a humane perspective. It started with going back to Joker being a person before he became who he was. This was the entire motive and the execution was perfect. His condition would explain well how people would misunderstand him and how he would become aware they never will. His whole aesthetic played nice with how the character appeared on screen and I think there is no doubt the photography was the best we could ever get in this industry.
It’s no surprise that the movie did very well at the box office.
Joaquin Phoenix’s performance was outstanding. His whole arc throughout the movie was perfectly matched with his character’s progression. With some characters it can be hard to see them grow into their role and really being affected by their actions. With veterans like Joaquin Phoenix that is hardly the case. He managed to own the character as though there never was a Joker before him.
I loved this movie from start to finish. I wish in some places it could have ironed out some issues like how dry they seemed. Overall, I didn't have any reason to hate this one.
- Good performance from start to finish
- Loyal to the source material
- Completely new take on Joker
- May seem incoherent at times
- Doesn't tie properly with the universe
- Probably won't have a part two