A failed comedian seeks acceptance in the streets of Gotham City, but isolation and bullying soon develops a madness that even he cannot control.
It's no surprise that "Joker" was on my list for one of the most anticipated films of 2019. He's not just a character, he's an icon. Studios would be foolish to create nothing less than perfection. So is it all we hoped for?
It is more than what we hoped for. It is what we dreamed of.
This is the first film that carries the character as a human. No comics, no batman, no superheros. Just a story of a innocent man who longs to please others, but has trouble connecting with society as a whole. Consequently, labeling him as a mad man. However, the film never lets you forget that this is not just any man, it's the Joker. And his plans are far from the norm.
I haven't been this tense all year since "Midsommar" and "The Nightingale" (extremely disturbing/uncomfortable films). Director Todd Phillips created a masterpiece that is both relentless and ambitious to where we never have the chance to catch a breath. It's a slow burn for sure but surprisingly has no any pacing issues. It's clever, hysterical, and unapologetic-ally graphic. They finally gave us the R-rated Joker we deserve and it's certainly here to tell us, be careful what you ask for.
The cinematography is some of the best work of the year. Similar to the groundbreaking posters, the shots are mesmerizing with tight keen angles and bold visuals. Every shot is a painting and even when a scene goes left (and I mean LEFT), it still somehow manages to charm the viewer. Production design is also outstanding by introducing the mist of the 80's with flashy sequences and controversial propaganda. As much as the film is a joy to watch, it is even better to look at.
Here is the moment you've all been waiting for. The golden question. Does Joaquin Phoenix deliver? I'll put it this way, I can't think of any performance more Oscar worthy in 2019. His performance is exquisite. A totally unique take on the character that we've NEVER seen before on screen. His interpretation is emotional, comedic, and downright cruel; but what really pulls the strings is his personality. Despite his actions, he is a very likable person. You sympathize with him because his goals are relate-able. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the true definition of a three dimensional character. Other standout performances include the dazzling Frances Conroy as his mother and the hysterical Robert De Niro. They both present spectacular characters that are monumental to the story and today's society. Heath Ledger would be very proud.
I commend the film for touching on various subjects such as mental illness as well. It gives us a different perspective on those who battle these thoughts every single day. I love when a film takes a risk and expounds upon a message that is more important than itself. Every filmmaker has this chance, and Todd Phillips fully took advantage. That is what storytelling is all about.
Mark my words, this is an instant classic.
I know when I see one.
See this immediately!