Joker: A film worth your time


Niko Tavernise

Warner Bros. Pictures

John Vassiliou, Online Managing Editor

If you are looking for a good use of your downtime on a rainy day, or on an open weeknight, I’d recommend going down to your local cinema to see Joker.

Joker is a new film written and directed by Todd Phillips, and co-written by Scott Silver. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as the iconic DC villain, with a new take on the character that is not only gut-wrenching, but also feels like a representation of a modern tragedy.

Unlike previous films representing the infamous character, Joker delves into the characters’ origins. Phillips not only dissects the society where Arthur Fleck (Joker) lives, operates, and develops, but also his deteriorating mental state that leads him towards his villainous identity. The story also does an excellent job at gradually building a rising tension, which has the viewer continually on the edge of his or her seat wondering what’s going to happen next.

Things seemed to happen very quickly out of nowhere, and the constant twists and turns that are presented make you really appreciate the film as more of a psychotic thriller than anything else.

On top of the gripping storyline, Phoenix’s performance adds another crucial component to the film. Dedicating heavily to the role, even going so far as to lose upwards of 50 pounds to fit the part, Phoenix gives an extremely in-depth and gripping demonstration of Flecks’ decent into madness.

The intensive character development, along with the relatively limited use of cannon when compared to other films or adaptations, also gives the film a lot of wiggle room to develop according to its own style.

Phillips himself admits that the movie borrows heavily from past psycho-dramas such as ‘Taxi Driver,’ which itself was a story about the decent into insanity of a common man. However, despite the heavy influence, Joker still excels at being its own film, delivering its own messages as opposed to a blatant “copy paste” of the previously mentioned film.

With all this being said, it should be heavily emphasized that Joker is not your typical “supervillain” story, but rather, a darker, deeper dive into what makes people enticed by evil. The dissection of Fleck as a protagonist also gives the viewer an intensive insight on how he not only became the Joker, but what societal circumstances led him down his destructive path.

Overall, I would strongly recommend seeing this film for the thrilling drama it is.