“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.