When this movie was announced, everyone asked, “Didn’t we get enough of DC Comics and Warner Brothers failures, in every attempt they did, trying to make a feature films? Nobody wants to know how another Joker came about! “, Which in turn led to a wave of negativity on social networks. Despite this, WB decided to produce the movie, and here, a month and a half after its premiere in Vienna, people’s opinions somehow changed. Why and what this may lead to will be discussed in the following paragraphs.
I can safely say that the whole movie made me think. A very interesting proverb came to mind while watchin the movie: “To create a joker in the 1980s, throw him into a barrel of toxic waste, but to create one in 2019, throw him into society!” Frankly, speaking of Gotham, society has always been cruel there. In fact, in the movie itself, the action unfolds in the 1980s, surrounding the events that led to the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents (Batman). But this is not the story of the most famous masked vigilante, but of his greatest enemy – The Joker. Unlike other Batman villains, he does not obey logic in any way. He has no higher purpose behind his actions. He does not want to subjugate Gotham or the world. He only wants attention. All his actions are driven by a single motive and it is to wreak maximum havoc. Then why is it necessary to know his story? Isn’t it easiest to just accept him as the psychopath he really is and continue to hope that one day Batman won’t spare him? And the answer is very simple – “We didn’t knew that we wanted a Joker origin story, until we got one!”
DC and WB have tried to adapt the clown psychopath once before, in Suicide Squad, but Jared Leto’s portrayal just couldn’t stand to Heath’s. In my opinion, the whole movie was a total tragedy. Only Will Smith and Margot Robbie were making it watchable. Jared Leto’s Joker was originally planned to be the main villain, but subsequently, for some reason, that was changed. In consequence, his incarnation is underdeveloped, cringe and even annoying. He appeared several times and each of them was, to put it mildly, tragic. Absolutely no presence. That is why, so far, Joker’s strongest incarnation was that of Heath Ledger in Nolan’s trilogy. Obtaining an Oscar posthumously, Heath simply seized the screen in every scene, giving mystery and psychopathy to Gotham’s most dangerous clown. But it may be time to give up the mantle, because the new contender enters the ring, ready to prove himself.
Unlike all superhero movies so far, The Joker falls into a slightly different category. Yes, the action takes place in Gotham City and yes, it leads to the creation of Batman, but only by doing so can one understand that it has anything to do with the comics. If he hadn’t been named “Joker”, he could have easily passed as another crime drama. But this is precisely where its charm lies. On the one hand, one can see how a dysfunctional structure of society leads to the creation of the most famous villain of all time, and on the other, one can see how this leads to the emergence of the most famous vigilante – Batman. The two elements are so well intertwined that there is no second in which the viewer can take away his eyes from the screen. Starting simply as a political thriller, this movie ends up being an anarchic manifesto against corruption and wealth.
In reality, no one would have known who the Joker was unless the society created him. The rift between the poor and the rich in Gotham, the refusal of the elite to admit there is a problem and their arrogance, leads to their own downfall. In a sense, Thomas Wayne is to blame for the emergence of the clown anarchist, and thus, he kind of predicts his son’s fate. In this movie, I can even say that the Joker is not the antagonist but the protagonist. Despite the violence and destruction that his actions lead to, he is also a victim of the Gotham harsh society and politics that benefit the elite. Despite his mental problems, he begins as an ordinary man, finding his place under the sun, slowly becoming the most famous villain of all time. This change is presented in a brilliant way by Joaquin Phoenix, whom I can safely say deserves an Oscar.
In conclusion, my only problem was that I saw for the thousandth time Bruce Wayne’s parents dying, which is now becoming a cliché. But on the other hand, in this movie, it was not just random act of violence caused by an unknown perpetrator, but a response to a policy that pushed Gotham’s poor population into a corner. Every moment in this movie makes sense. I recommend Joker with two hands each, whether you are a comic book fan or not. Or, to put it another way, said by the clown himself – “All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. This is how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day! “