Joker is directed by Todd Philips and stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded and thrown out of society.
We live in an era in which formulaic comic book movies are more and more common. Joker not only proves that you can make a comic book movie without a villain but also proves that comic book movies can be used as psychological studies reflecting on how our society views and treats mental health issues of certain individuals.
If I had to describe Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in one word it would be mesmerising. His take on the iconic comic book character is filled with emotional depth to the point where it's almost painful to watch and flawlessly realistic making it one of the best performances of the decade.
The cinematography is also something to note. It is full of gorgeous shots with a beautiful colour palate making it's shot composition and structure heavily differ from most comic book films.
The score is very minimalistic but every time it comes on it feels unsettling and haunting which adds to the suspense of the story.
My biggest and only issue with Joker is that it's too inspired by Scorsese's King of Comedy and Taxi Driver making the majority of the film predictable. However, making it predictable didn't take away much from its quality and only made it more unsettling because we can see the degradation of Joker's mind before it happens making the film more depressing.
I wouldn't really call Joker a comic book movie. Yes, it's based on a comic book and depicts arguably the most iconic comic book character of all time, but it stands alone among dozens of its predecessors as a psychological drama that reflects on society and its issues rather than a fantasy world.
Overall, Joker is a brilliant take on the character, however it's not for the faint of heart or narrow-minded and prejudiced people.
Final Grade - 9/10
Don't (forget to) smile.