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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Nobody’s Joking about Joker

Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Warner Bros. “Joker” chronicles the villainous origin of the titular character the Joker (Joaquin Phoenix).

“Joker” was released this past weekend and it was a big headline and talking piece throughout media platforms, with some people predicting big awards in this movie’s future. So does it deserve the hype? 

Starting with the biggest plus, Joaquin Phoenix comes through with an absolute powerhouse performance that is more than deserving of an Oscar award. Watching his performance, you can feel the pain and loneliness that Arthur Fleck is going through, even hours after the film is over.

This year’s ‘Best Lead Actor’ race is going to be nuts with Phoenix and Leonardo DiCaprio already having put up performances that deserve to have them holding the trophy. Include Adam Driver, who apparently delivers a knockout achievement in the upcoming film “Marriage Story,” and we may have a very interesting race for the Oscar gold.

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Director Todd Phillips brought forth a fantastic portrayal of Gotham City, showcasing the turmoil and the rise of crime in the iconic backdrop for one of the most notable heroes ever written, Batman. It reminded me of how great of a job director Christopher Nolan did with his Batman trilogy at capturing a turbulent and violent city. 

Joaquin Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. "Joker," released on Oct. 4, 2019.
Joaquin Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. “Joker,” released on Oct. 4, 2019.

Another plus to this movie is the fact that it is a one-off, non-related film to any of the other DC Extended Universe, so no surprise it was a home run. This film benefits from not being a part of a “universe” and being its own thing, because it becomes much more intimate that way.

The score from lesser known composer Hildur Guðnadóttir was just as chilling and eerie as it needed to be to match the tone of the film.

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There are some moments of uncertain humor in this movie, and I could tell by the crowd with me watching it that we were all hesitant to laugh at what happened. It was almost as if the film had us questioning what was funny and not funny. The sense of discomfort whenever we would laugh is a credit to the script, which was very well-written and designed for you to be uncomfortable.

I paid $5 for a bag of Skittles and hardly touched it because of how deeply twisted and disturbing this movie was.

Overall, “Joker” is a dark and haunting character study, driven by an Oscar-worthy performance from Phoenix.  For Warner Bros. Pictures, it took guts to make this movie, so props to them for going as far as they could with the clown prince of crime.

This film is definitely not for everyone, but I am absolutely shaken by how well it is made. 

I give Joker an A+.

Watch the trailer here.

Follow Edward Vento on Twitter

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