Found Joker entertaining in 2019
Cinema - The big bang of evil: «Joker» is scary and sad
The big bang of evil: «Joker» is scary and sad
How did Batman's adversary become a villain? The movie «Joker» reveals one of the greatest secrets in comic history.
A city is drowning in rubbish. Giant rats bite people to death. A man (Joaquin Phoenix) falls into depression. But nobody knows. Because he suffers from a neurological disorder: the more nervous, agitated, injured or sadder he is, the more uncontrollably he has to laugh. Since childhood. Which is why his mother (Frances Conroy) always thought he was a happy child. Even when he was abused. She calls him "Happy".
His real name: Arthur. And Arthur finds his calling as a joker. The Gotham City killer. Batman's future archenemy. Whose history we didn’t know before. Now it is there. And it's lousy and gruesome. It is the story of a person whose life has been so destroyed that he can only find salvation as a monster.
A rental clown with no feel for punch lines
Arthur has a job as a rental clown, lives with his sick mother and would like to become a stand-up comedian. But he has no sense of timing or punch lines. His funniest joke? "I hope my death counts more than my life." The rest is an ultra-embarrassing poking around in mists. All his emotional and intellectual upbringing consists of TV shows. Diversions from the misery of his city and his life.
He dreams of the television studios and wants talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) to be his father. He is a dreamer and a childish idiot. Meanwhile, his mother stylizes investment mogul Thomas Wayne as the Messiah of Gotham City. Arthur hates Wayne. And Arthur is released because a pistol falls out of his costume while working as a hospital clown. Occasionally he is beaten up. At first it lies like another garbage bag under garbage bags. Then his transformation begins.
An anarchist freed from any political impetus
We know what its result is: one who has freed himself from everything. Of laws, of any kind, of all real and imagined parent figures, of his past. The Joker, as we still have dazzling memories of Heath Ledger, for example, is something like a big bang of evil, an anarchist freed from any political impetus, a destructive player. Gotham City has to burn and nothing else. That Arthur in «Joker» becomes the figurehead of the rebels in a city bled to death by nefarious capitalism - not his intention! But of course great for his new ego.
A lot about «Joker» is crazy: The intensity and complexity of the story, unbelievable how finely the psychogenesis of the Joker is built. Then of course Joaquin Phoenix, always an impressive actor, but tends to be one of those who get through every film with a single expression on his face, for him it was the dark-tempered breeder.
Now Phoenix is an explosion of acting, tremendously physical but also tremendously nuanced, and - yes! - he, the man who has never felt like laughing in the film, does it here. And how! Add to that the stunning Frances Conroy, at least since "Six Feet Under" the most neurotic and at the same time most vulnerable mother actress one could wish for. A perverted duo that is in need of therapy and one cannot get enough of.
All or nothing can be reality or a dream here
It's also crazy how consistently «Joker» is a figment of surreality: the twisted world of the clown, the escapist meta-world of television, the imaginary escapes of Arthur himself transform this film into an infinite cabinet of illusions. All or nothing can be a reality here. Or dream. The twists and turns are surprising. And bottomlessly melancholy.
And the craziest thing, of course, is that this thick, dark thing comes from Todd Phillips, the man who did "hangovers" three times. And who has now won the Golden Lion for the best film at the Venice Film Festival with “Joker”. But maybe it takes someone who knows the genre of comedy really well to know all the blackness of tragedy that can lurk behind it.
Joker (USA 2019) 122 min. Director: Todd Philips. From 10.10. in the cinema.
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