Going into this movie I genuinely didn’t have very high expectations, but Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker was nothing short of another great take on DC’s favorite villain. Todd Phillips, most notable for his recent success with 2019’s best picture nominee, A Star is Born, really does a fantastic job of allowing batman’s darkest foe to get even darker. Phoenix’s stellar acting really pulls this picture together with his schizophrenic tendencies and amazing ability to portray such true dread in a character that we don’t typically care for when on the topic of “feelings.” The film’s ability to make you genuinely feel for such a twisted character is attributed to how Phoenix challenges the mental health narrative currently at the forefront of our generation. I have been noticing very many comparisons to Heath Ledger, and although it comes with the territory of playing the Joker, I don’t think the two are comparable here. Ledger played Joker IN a batman movie, while Phoenix portrayed the psychopath in his own full-length film. All in all, I don’t see where the narrative of “over glorifying mental illness” came from. The movie should be perceived as-is: a great new adaptation of the clown. For what is now definitely DC’s darkest film, Gotham has never felt more lively to me. The cinematography goes hand in hand with strong character development to make what will most likely score Phoenix and Phillips a best picture nominee.
Published by Joe P