The Message that Lies Behind the Joker

Carlos Recinos, Author

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The Joker is arguably one of the most famous villains in pop culture history. Joker’s 2019 reboot has given fans hope that the DC cinematic Universe can be saved from the drought it has suffered over the years. Joaquin Phoenix’s role as the Clown Prince of Crime was a breath of fresh air compared to Jokers of the past. 

With Heath Ledger’s Legendary Performance as Joker in the 2008 Film The Dark Knight. Phoenix had a lot to live up to, and he did not disappoint. The Joker takes on a sorrowful and melancholic tone. The audience expected the movie to focus on the Crime Prince committing terrible crimes and acts of extreme violence, and there is violence in the film with some gruesome scenes. However, the focus in on Arthur Fleck, a failed comedian who is looking for a place to belong too in Gotham City. Arthur has mental health issues and begins to question his purpose in life and sees how people with Mental Issues are treated in the city. Gotham is also heading towards a downward spiral.  With crime rates rising and new politicians coming to power, Arthur is stuck in the middle of a city where crime is succeeding, and justice is failing. 

Joaquin Phoenix did an incredible job posing as a man with severe mental issues. The audience finds itself in awe, at times forgetting that it is a movie and not a documentary of a mentally deranged person. The Joker’s laugh sounded so authentic that you end up believing that Joaquin Phoenix is genuinely crazy. Phoenix studied real footage of mental patients who are suffering from pathological laughter to get his inspiration for his Joker laugh. He also lost 52 pounds to play the role. 

 In this movie, there is no real hero or villain, just someone who wants to be accepted by the society they are born in. This movie delivered a message to the audience that we create the monsters that live in our community today. Joker was not a bad person at the beginning of the movie he was transformed by the ambiance that surrounded him. 

The way the world is nowadays, I feel that a film like this is needed. It can reach out to multiple demographics like the Comic Book Fans, Film Enthusiasts, and millions of average joes. In a way, this movie makes us look at people differently. We can see that people take mental illness as a joke and something that can be overshadowed and fixed in time. Instead of taking seriously and make an effort to understand it. 

Joaquin Phoenix did an excellent job in this film, and I hope we get to see more of this version of Joker soon. Overall I would give the movie a solid 8 out of 10 because at times; the story is so complex it loses the viewer.  However, it has a nice twist on the twisted clown of Crime. It offers small action sequences, excellent character development, and a solid story overall.