Movie review: “Joker”

Defying the plot of the average superhero movie

Critically acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix portrays Arthur Fleck, a failed comedian, who is attempting to find his place in a class-divided Gotham City, despite being mistreated by every member of society.

Arthur’s typical day consists of working as a party clown during the day, taking care of his bedridden mother in the evening and watching his favorite late-night comedian, Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) on television. His goals in life are to be on the “Murray Franklin Show” and to put a smile on every face he comes across. However, there is one major problem; he has a disability that consists of uncontrollable laughter which scares people away. After a series of unfortunate events, and over the course of the film, Arthur Fleck transforms into the iconic and infamous villain we know him as today: The Joker.

For those expecting a comic book movie, like any film from the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” or DC’s previous movie “Aqua Man,” you will be severely disappointed. 

“Joker” is a character study that shows how and why Arthur Fleck turns to a life of crime. While the film may make you sympathize the character, it quickly demonstrates why you shouldn’t. This is done beautifully by Phoenix’s performance.

An example of when you might be moved to feel sympathy for the main character is when Fleck has his outbursts of laughs; you can see the suffering in his eyes, and hear the pain in his voice. He is like this even before he commits heinous crimes.

This film can be seen as a reflection of how the mentally ill are treated, as well as how criminals gain a platform in the United States. It can also provoke among the audience an open discussion on how their roles in society could either prevent or produce a criminal like the Joker.

“Joker” is a must-see movie in theaters now, and it wouldn’t be surprising if this film takes home a couple of Academy Awards this coming February.

It has made 200 million dollars since opening last week and is sitting at number one for the second week in the row for ticket sales.

“Joker” broke the record for the most watched movie in October, beating Sony’s “Venom” that came out last year.