[Movie Review] Joker: Heartbreaking

“The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.”African proverb

Just trying to gather my thoughts and emotions about this movie makes me feel like crying.

Those who are high in social intelligence/empathy will find it hard to watch this movie. It is, contrary to what some might expect, not the origins story of a maniac supervillain who only wants to watch the world burn. Joker tells the story of a man who has to go through one of the worst fates, that of an outcast rejected by society, abandoned by those whose companionship he seeks.

There are two parts to the story: one in which Arthur Fleck gets mocked at, laughed at, beaten, threatened, ridiculed, fired, and told that his whole life was a lie. Twice.

The decline is gradual, with a couple plot twists thrown in for good measure.

The second part is what all expect: Arthur Fleck, aspiring comedian, becomes the Joker. He embraces who he really is, he embraces the fact that the world will never understand him, accept him, or want to have anything to do with him.

The murders are heartbreaking, delirious, borderline funny at times. The Joker relishes in the details of becoming what he feels as inevitable. An unstoppable force.

Joaquin Phoenix is brilliant, and it’s his performance that truly shines, which is no small feat considering most movie-goers will be skeptical that someone else can measure up to Heath Ledger’s performance. Phoenix does that with ease, with an odd sort of grace, as if he was born for this part.

Joker is not your typical comic book adaptation. It is an ode to the downtrodden, the misfits, the disturbed. It will deeply unsettle those who are comfortable in their beliefs of the world, and will challenge your perspective of good and evil, villain and hero.

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26 thoughts on “[Movie Review] Joker: Heartbreaking

  1. Enjoyed your thoughts on the movie. I remember reading years ago that playing the Joker was very intense. To play the part you have to give your mind and soul to it. I’m interested in how Joaquin Phoenix handles the pressure of the role.

    1. It certainly is a difficult role and Joachim Phoenix handles it so well because he is an accomplished and versatile actor. Examples are “Signs”and “Gladiator.”

  2. I absolutely adore how the critics dub this movie an “ironic” box office smash…

    It’s funny, because that’s how we usually mistake the definition of the word “ironic”. We mistake it, by using the word “ironic” in the same sense as the word “coincidental”. Irony has nothing to do with “coincidence”, but with opposites. It is an opposite occurrence to what was expected to happen. It was as if these critics didn’t even know that they properly used that mistake, accordingly. Joker was so much received with the definition of “coincidence”, because we do seem to live in a world where it is hard to see behind a smile, where trust is never sincere, and guilt is utilized.

    In today’s time, we desire respect more-so than we desire love.

    I do not think a character such as the Joker would have wanted the respect (or fear) he made for himself during his later years, during when he wanted love in his more childish and innocent times.

    Love comes with the acceptance, and makes one vulnerable. Upon not receiving that, Joker became infatuated with being feared, or being respected. The latter is what we always seem to desire, even automatically, in today’s time. I say “automatically” because respect cannot be given automatically. By that, this means that human still want love, though deny it ever being offered.

    That’s for the same reason as people today deny the existence of God, and also deny any miracles ever being given.

    In a time where humans lack connection with each other, we’ve reversed the time it takes for respect to be offered, with love to be offered. Love should be offered instantly, and respect takes time to develop. What have we done today, with all the mass production of “convenience”? We’ve only created a world where we’ve “mass produced respect and fear”, while confusing people into thinking that love and forgiveness takes time to be given.

    1. There were parts were I kind of forgot it was a comic book adaptation. Deep is a nice word to define it. Artistic is another one. Cinematography is brilliant as well, and there are some haunting images that are on par with what we see in The Dark Knight.

    1. Order (which is what society tries to create) tends to be biased. It always is. Someone gets fed, someone doesn’t. You gotta choose. Chaos is the one that is always fair, and surprisingly, we hate chaos.

  3. Thank you for this. I’ve been going back on forth on watching this as I’m not a fan of violence, but the story arc of why he became who he became is what’s driving me to see it. You’ve confirmed that I need to go see it.

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