FW MOVIE PICK: JOKER

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019)

There’s no denying that Batman’s archenemy The Joker is considered to be the greatest DC Comics Villain of all-time especially in pop culture; but the last thing I ever expected them to do is an origin story movie that’s not supposed to be connected to anything; but merely designed to be a character study! Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks — the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he’s part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker. Joaquin Phoenix delivers a mesmerizing and compelling performance as the Joker both for his tragic story and portrayal of mental illness. Joker is the first live-action theatrical Batman film to receive an R-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, due to its violent and disturbing content. Thankfully the movie doesn’t try to hard to justify its rating and its only bloody when it needs to be. Instead it focuses on a more mature and grounded story then your used too in a DC Film to the point where it feels like this could happen in the real world. The movie was also inspired by 1970s character studies and the films of Martin Scorsese (particularly Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy), which is an interesting take on the Joker origin story. The graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke (1988) was the basis for the premise along with some elements from “The Dark Knight Returns”. Overall this movie should be hailed as one of the best DC Comic Films in recent memory!

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