Joker - 2.5/5

October 5, 2019

So, what was the purpose of making this film? Was it to capitalise on a popular super-villain? Was it to give Joaquin Phoenix a chance to act again? Who knows? Well the outcome of whatever reason for making this is, Joker is a 2 hour movie that sort of seems quite worthless, except for showcasing that an actor in Hollywood can actually act when they try.  With a duration of 2 hours, the first hour is a drag. I sat there wondering where in the world is this film heading, and why did I decide to buy a ticket to this. I started to change my mind in the last 40 minutes of the film when the film took a very dark turn. To be honest, I feel as if audiences would have liked this tone for the entire film.  Anyway, it is a very dramatic and climactic ending and it weirdly ties it back to a Batman storyline. However, putting aside the artistic outcome of the project, the big problem with this film is its depiction of mental illness. I found this to be a very irresponsible story of how someone with a mental illness is capable of violence and murder. While they could have used this as a powerful platform to do this respectfully, Joker's take on the topic is seriously unsettling. I feel as if audiences are going to be very divided with this film. Comic book fans who like to not think about the socio-political commentaries of films will love it. Mental health advocates may see this as a positive and some (like me) may see it as inappropriate. In 2019, we live in woke world, where there is pressure on society to do and say the right thing and be educated on topics that are challenging to talk about. And having a movie that packages mental illness with violence and murder is disturbing. To add to this, the character is treated as a hero, where his actions are applauded by a niche group of followers. I would call this film the most unsettling film I have seen in a long time. While Phoenix was good in this film, it is one I am not going to recommend. If you watch and like it, good for you! 

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© A blog about movies...by Saj