His name may imply this movie will be a fun time. But Joker is no laughing matter. Joker can be interpreted in a multitude of different ways and is a brilliant film. Directed by Todd Phillips, this film can be seen as the showcase of the sick and twisted backstories to one of the most famous comic book villains of all time.
Taking place in the infamous Gotham City, this film showcases the transformation of regular citizen Arthur Fleck into the sinister Joker, played by iconic actor Joaquin Phoenix. Right from the opening credits, this film goes into overdrive. With a runtime of two hours and two minutes, this is a very exhilarating movie from start to finish.
The film reveals the home life of Arthur, who works as a professional clown and lives with his mother in a rundown apartment complex. However, about a third of the way into the movie Fleck kills his first victims and the film starts to amp up the intensity. After stopping his mental illness medication the Joker starts to replace Fleck as a person. From there a sense of uneasiness and grittiness is being felt throughout the entire theater for the remainder of the movie.
In preparation for this role, Phoenix went through a grueling transformation in order to feel more connected to his character. When shooting for the film began, Phoenix lost a total of 52 pounds. This weight cut made his figure look sick and ill as throughout the movie his bones and ribs are visible to the audience. Phoenix was able to lose this amount of weight so quickly because of a personal nutritionist only having him eat a minuscule 500 calories per day.
In addition to losing weight, Phoenix also did extensive research about the types of medication that his Joker character took during the movie. With a dark and tragic backstory, it is clear to see that the Joker is not mentally stable. Due to this notion, this film has received both praise as well as backlash for portraying mental health issues on the big screen. Some view the film as courageous and bold, while others detest it for being appalling and distasteful.
A dark setting with one of the best musical scores in a film in recent history combined with brilliant acting makes Joker a wonderful piece of cinematography. This film has a deeper meaning and illustrates how mental health is something that people should look out for in their lives and to check on other’s health and well-being. Overall this film is absolutely a must-watch for any fan of comic books or movies in general. This movie is sure to have the viewer leaving the theater with a look of disbelief and awe at the fantastic film that is Joker.