The much anticipated, latest adaptation of the story of ruthless DC Comic villain Joker is in theaters now. The release of the supervillain's origin story sparked an increase in security in theaters in fear of people replicating the acts of the deranged clown.
“Joker” follows the story of one of the most controversial, sadistic, and lovable movie villains of all time. Actor Joaquin Phoenix’s adaptation of this character is miraculous and something we have never seen before. There have been other actors to portray the killer clown such as Jared Leto, Jack Nicholson, and of course, the late Heath Ledger but none quite like this.
Phoenix has auditioned for other comic book movie roles such as MARVEL's Red Skull in “Captain America: The First Avenger” and the title role in MARVEL's “Doctor Strange”. Phoenix chose to audition for this role because "Joker" is a stand alone film which would allow him to truly adapt to the character.
Director Todd Phillips was tasked with bringing the origin story of the Joker to the big screen. This was a tough task seeing as how the Joker has no true origin story to follow, making him one of the most mysterious characters in cinematic and comic book history.
Phillips is most notably known for directing the “Hangover” trilogy, “Old School”, “Due Date”, and “A Star is Born” as well as acting as the producer of a generational classic,“Project X”. This is his first film involving a comic book character but he did not disappoint.
We follow Arthur Fleck, a clown working in Gotham, looking to make a living trying to make people laugh in a place and time where everyone is upset, careless, and selfish. Arthur suffers from some mental and physical issues as the movie progresses, and we see this in the amount of medication he is prescribed. After being attacked in an alley while doing his job, we see many actions throughout Arthur’s life in the days and weeks that follow the attack that lead to his slow transformation into the perpetually wicked and callous character, Joker.
I personally loved this film. It was unique in its way of storytelling and character development. Throughout the film, viewers see what humanity can really be like and how close we are to becoming a chaotic society. It was fascinating to see an origin story completely different from that of any other superhero or villain.
Of all those actors who have portrayed the role of the Joker, Heath Ledger remains at the top with Phoenix now a close second. Watching this film, you will never know what is true and what is not, due to many alternate perspectives portrayed throughout. The film rattles your brain, causing you to sympathize with the main character all while you question yourself as to why.
The overall message of this potential Oscar-winning film is what you do can perpetuate others' actions.