Joker Review


There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Joker, the new DC film by Todd Phillips. The divide of viewers has ranged between people who accuse it of being a violent-inspiring movie and people who believe it is a psychological masterpiece of cinema. This controversy has started social media debates, upped movie theater security, and sparked audiences to call for both bans of the film and Oscar awards at the same time; but why is it so controversial? Why has a superhero movie spawned such an up cry on the internet?

For a two-hour movie, Joker really makes you think. While we follow Arthur, who is continuously beaten down by the society around him, the audience is almost forced to wonder if we help in creating monsters like him. Someone looking for a casual comic book movie might be let down, as Joker only really appears in the last twenty minutes, but the film does offer a deep character study and a unique take of the Joker, built off of the ones that came before. Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker isn’t entirely comparable to that of The Dark Knight‘s Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson from the 1989 Batman, as they seem like entirely different characters, but the Joker in this movie is the main act rather than part of it, allowing for a character far more layered and much scarier, due to Phoenix’s acting and a very well-written script. Todd Phillips, the director, pays homage to classic movies, such as Taxi Driver, as well as earlier takes on the character, but it still manages to be its own thing, something Todd Phillips wants to make clear.

Joker is a very serious movie. On top of the violence and brutality, it discusses mental health issues, the importance of the government taking care of society, and ultimately, the importance of being civil with one another. It isn’t something everyone needs to see, but it is still an important movie that acts as a warning sign to society, showing that what society can become isn’t a joke.