I’m still practically speechless over what I just saw.
I don’t know personally whether to consider “Joker” a miracle or a masterpiece but it is beyond any shadow of a doubt one of 2019’s greatest cinematic achievements and perhaps this years most important film. In a day and age where very few risks are taken to make a very captivating movie experience that’s bound to get people talking and debating, this one movie breaks the mold into pieces and never looks back. Martin Scorsese’s influence is felt throughout with marvelous directing, beautifully well shot images and choreography with an excellent vibrant use of still shots, camera angles and color palettes bringing the raw Gotham City to life while the lighting further strings along both sides of the coin between those sane and those beyond the point of no return. The dialogue can be rather simplistic but the script has so much energy surrounding its grim tone that sometimes simple is good. The soundtrack is catchy, the score is haunting, the film packs both immaculate style and substance in its presentation and source material despite borrowing heavily from other 70’s flicks, its themes and social commentary are relevant to what’s happening now in society and Joaquin Phoenix gives out the best performance I think I’ve ever seen from him. Take nothing away from Nicholson, Hamill or Ledger but Phoenix deserves to be up there as one of the greatest Jokers in film. He was terrifyingly fantastic.
It’s more than a character study, it’s more than an ode around the chaos that we create in this world, it’s more than about how society brings out the demons in all of us as we reach our breaking point, it’s more than just a call for help. It’s not gonna excite you or comfort you and it damn sure isn’t gonna hold your hand as you walk through this beautifully tragic portrait of misery and suffering. It’s a polarizing gem that punches you in the gut and stabs you straight through the heart because of its brutal honesty and unapologetic authenticity over its subject matter. Upon updating the origin story with retro sensibilities and real life echoes, it strikes a perfect and rather precarious balancing act between the comics lore and Scorsese’s influence of style and yet never betrays the core aspects of what makes the Joker tick: he’s crossed the fine line between being a villain we love to hate and a villain we hate to love multiple times but this story shows why the man is popular within pop culture for a reason. A hero is a hero but everybody loves a great villain, a villain that makes you question what you believe in and think from their point of view. And we get enough of a great bad guy here — the kind we love to hate. The worse Joker acts, the more we stare.
All I will say is if Joaquin is not even nominated for an Oscar come next year.....