Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
I hadn’t planned on seeing the film ‘Joker’ at the cinema when it came out in October 2019. But after hearing a lot of people talk about it, I decided to find out what this film was like. I went to see the film at the cinema with my best mate from school Stephen. He saw this film twice before I saw it. 😀
So, what did I make of ‘Joker’ overall then? (Pause) Well, I’ll definitely say this. (Pause) It was a lot better than ‘Venom’. Yeah, I’m disappointed ‘Venom’ didn’t turn out to be the way ‘Joker’ ended up. It was clearly the kind of origins story I wanted to see with a villain in a comic book superhero movie.
‘Joker’ of course is based on the DC Comics character, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the titular anti-hero. It was pretty interesting to see this film as it’s kind-of set in the ‘Batman’ universe, but not really. I mean, the film provides this intriguing possible origins story for the character in a pretty unique way.
The film takes place in the year 1981. It focuses on Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck who tries to be a stand-up comedian in Gotham City. During the film, it’s revealed that he has mental health issues and it’s this series of unfortunate events that lead him to become the Joker with the people around him.
I won’t deny, I found this film pretty shocking and disturbing when I watched it on the big screen. I’m sensitive about the issues tackled in the film, including the mental health problems Arthur Fleck has with laughing uncontrollably and people not caring for him in a way people should’ve cared for him.
Joaquin Phoenix excels in the film and it’s intriguing how he provides varying layers to his character of Arthur Fleck before becoming the Joker. You can understand and emphasise why he ended up being the Joker whilst at the same time finding his violent acts towards the climax really inexcusable.
There are quite a few gruesome violent scenes in the film which I had to be brave in watching as I saw the film. But most of the film is pretty good psychological drama. It was compelling to see how Arthur Fleck goes towards his downfall with aspiring to be a comedian before he ends up as a villain.
A number of scenes in the film take place in Arthur’s mind due to his mental condition. Some of the scenes I was able to register when watching the film, but then there were also some that completely passed me by. It was after seeing the film that I discussed those scenes with my best friend Stephen.
Gotham City is a pretty abysmal place and exactly as you’d expect with its crime-ridden activities. In fact, a lot of the crime going on in the movie is caused by the Joker as the criminals begin to praise him as a hero when the cops are after him. It was compelling to see it unravelled in that showdown.
The film also features Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin, a talk show host who plays a pivotal role in Arthur’s downfall. There’s also Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond, who becomes Arthur’s ‘love interest’ in the movie and there’s Frances Conrory as Penny Fleck, Arthur’s mentally and physically ill mother.
There’s also a brief appearance of Bruce Wayne as a young boy, played by Dante Pereira-Olsen, before he became Batman. There’s also Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father. It was intriguing to see Thomas Wayne not being nice to Arthur when he gets to meet him during this film.
The talk show scene towards the end of the film was pretty shocking, especially when Arthur as Joker reveals himself to be the murderer of three men on a tube train before eventually shooting Murray Franklin on set. I anticipated that was coming as I saw the film, but it was still really shocking.
The thing I found disappointing about the film is that the Joker didn’t shoot Bruce Wayne’s parents at the end. Instead that was done by some random criminal in the film. I would’ve preferred it if the Joker shot Bruce’s parents as it would’ve reflected nicely in what he did in the 1989 ‘Batman’ movie.
‘Joker’ is a pretty good villain movie set in a sort-of ‘Batman’ universe. I wouldn’t regard it as a favourite, but I’m glad I’ve seen the movie to know what it’s like. Joaquin Phoenix is excellent as the Joker and it’s no surprise the film is regarded as one of the highest 15/R-rated grossing films in 2019.
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!