In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him fa... Read allIn Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.
Which Real-Life Comedian Inspired 'Joker'?
I gotta say, if this movie was also your idea of the most perfect film ever made, you really need to get out more. Look, I get it. If you live in a safe little box where all you watch are superhero movies and mainstream blockbusters then I understand how exposure to themes like this for the first time would seem new and exciting to you, and I think we can all agree that this is probably the best DC Comics related movie in the last decade or so (though that's not a high bar to meet) and of course Joaquin Phoenix is a very talented actor, but stop and take a step back and look at this thing.
Joker does indeed present a theme that is of importance to our society, that of the neglect and demonizing of the mentally ill to a degree that sometimes creates monsters which everyone around them should have seen coming a mile away if they hadn't been too busy looking away to avoid feeling uncomfortable. Unfortunately, reminding us all of the fact that this situation still exists is all this movie really has to say. It dances around important subjects like "HEY KIDS, CLASS INEQUALITY!", but then never offers any actual insight into them, usually because it's too busy making forced Batman references or dropping cringey little edgy moments like the "Don't smile" sign scene which seem to have been designed solely to have something for Hot Topic to print a new t-shirt of. Between that and every single plot twist being telegraphed so very far in advance because a lot of us have seen all these exact same twists so very many times before, I just wasn't impressed.
Perhaps if this had been an actual stand-alone movie of its own instead of being shackled by its completely unnecessary ties to the Batman universe it could have done something more interesting with its themes. Don't get me wrong, I don't have any problem with superhero movies, but it just feels so gratuitous here, as if someone came up with this idea, pitched it to an executive, and was told "sounds great, but can you make it a Batman movie somehow?", and I'm sorry, but I'm just not into a movie trying to tell me a half-hearted, yet dead-serious speech about mental illness in modern society while simultaneously constantly reminding me that it's technically a superhero movie because $$$
- Jan 14, 2020