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Drama, not Comedy: a review of “Joker”

Joaquin Phoenix  always goes above and beyond in his rolls and Joker is no exception. When watching Joker you don’t see an actor, you see the embodiment of the Psycho Killer that is the notorious comic book villain Joker.

The plot isn’t too concerned with changing up the classic three act story structure or even delivering a mind blowing plot twist, this is not that kind of movie, but it is a small scale story that takes a close look at Arthur Fleck and his decent to madness. Although many moviegoers might be expecting an over the top comic book movie but once again this isn’t it, this is a batman flavored crime drama.

Many see this movie as a “diet Taxi Driver” and for good reason, director Todd Philips definitely took a lot of inspiration from the classic film by Martin Scorsese, a director that has never held back in making a movie about the disturbing nature of morally corrupt people, it makes for entertaining cinema. This movie is in a way a love letter to those 70s-80s crime films, movies such as Drive or Nightcrawler are also in the same vain and joker is a great new addition.

 The movie even goes as far as to cast Robert De Niro who starred in many early Scorsese films such as Taxi Driver and King of Comedy, two films that were used as thematic and visual inspiration for joker.

This movie have very mature themes and impactful graphic scenes, earning it an R rating, and it really shows. Unlike most comic book movies, joker has a bit more of an artful approach to it, it feels like a real movie. The movie is complemented by not only a great and disturbing sounding score but also a Very 70s soundtrack like tone  that adds to atmosphere of the film.

We see Gotham portrayed in a vastly different way  than we have seen before. This Gotham is definitely based on the crime filled streets of 1970s New York, the perfect setting for a villain film. The bright colors and dark tones also help sell the grimy run down aesthetic of the movie, something that is much needed in this age where every if not most movies are super polished HD and flat looking because of it.

 Although the film is a slow burn up close character study, the last act is what everyone enjoys the most. This rendition of the Joker is unlike anything we have seen before

He dawns a burgundy red suit and a smart, intimidating, unhinged, flamboyant personality. One of the most important things is that the Joker reminded a general audience that good movies don’t have to be big budget blockbuster with CGI filled spectacles, but instead stylistic and grounded movies driven by characters and great performances. The reviews are split, many people are either loving or hating it. Despite many people and critics saying it was cliche, the films music and cinematography in addition to Joaquin Phoenix’s performance really do make it a movie worth watching.

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