The Joker Film Review

By Priscilla Castro Sanchez

Illustrated by Priscilla Castro Sanchez

The Joker is a film I would very much recommend. We all love a good origin story, and the excitement that comes with the idea of seeing it come to life, which is what this movie has. It starts off with Arthur Fleck, a.k.a the Joker, at his ironic job of being a clown. Grabbing his mouth and contorting it into a grin and grimace repeatedly has a symbolic meaning. That being the light and the dark we have in us, or the mask we put on for others versus how we really feel. Not only is it the origin story of an infamous character we get to see, but this movie includes a lot of truths for being based off a comic book. 

The Joker (2019) is set in 1981, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the new Prince of Gotham. With some big clown shoes to fill, I think he’s earned his place in the Hollywood Joker Hall of Fame. This movie touches up on the realities and difficulties we all face. The central theme of this story is mental health issues. The effects of depression, anxiety, violence, etc. on the mind and soul can be crippling, eventually driving us mad. I feel this movie has artistically and beautifully portrayed this by using the Joker to represent these issues was a true vision and an incredibly intelligent move. His own take on the character delved into how the Joker came to be.

Many people had their doubts and mixed feelings about the film. Every time a new joker arises, fans are always skeptical whether or not they can carry the character’s legacy. My experience watching the movie is of course biased. But not to forget other’s opinions, many fans didn’t share the same experience. Comparing Phoenix to other legendary portrayals like Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Mark Hamill. I think he brought in a new and different portrayal of the character. As well as other special attributes to the character, which made for a thoughtful origin story. It shows the madness that makes the Joker the criminal mastermind he is.

 What he went through, the violence, abuse, bullying, and mental strains that take hold of the mind are crushing… and what we all struggle to deal with. Overall, this movie is enlightening on many of today’s problems regarding our society. As Arthur Fleck once put it, “ The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.” I think that really hit home for many people, my generation and I included. As a big fan of the Joker character, I was extremely excited to see what they could concoct. I was not disappointed. The movie bordered on genius. Not only did it tug on the heartstrings, it was heartfelt, riveting, triggering and more. I would recommend the movie to many fans, the true fans, to experience the wonder behind Arthur’s story. 

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