No ‘Joking’ Matter: A remake for today’s generation (Review)

Sam Salomone, Staff writer

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead

Joker is a haunting movie that will make you laugh, cry, and question your way of life. 

The movie focuses on the miserable life of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a worn-down aspiring stand-up comedian. Throughout the film, we see the events that cause this mentally-ill man’s spiral into madness. 

I think the movie is extremely well done in most parts and is a must-see. It is different than any movie made in a long time and especially different than all recent superhero blockbusters.

There are many scenes in the movie that are very brutal and/or sad, that will leave you thinking about how you treat others. For example, the opening scene has Arthur getting the sign he was advertising with stolen from him, then he is jumped by the kids that stole it.

One big issue the movie focuses on is Arthur’s mental illness. He suffers from a disease that causes him to laugh uncontrollably, and he also imagines things happening that aren’t real. Arguably the saddest thing in Joker is the way our society treats Arthur. All he wants to do is “put a smile on people’s faces.” But he is continuously beaten down and has his soul crushed.

Joaquin Phoenix’s take on this iconic character is one of the best. While many try and compare it to Heath Ledger’s Joker, the two are so entirely different that it is  impossible to do so. Todd Philip’s directorial job can be seen strongly throughout the film in little ways, such as Arthur’s sickeningly thin body, a limp when he walks, and the darkness that clouds Gotham for the majority of the movie.

While most of the soundtrack is depressing melodies, one of the highlights of the whole movie is the Joker dancing on a staircase to Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2.” Seeing Arthur embrace his inner madness as he finally becomes the Joker is a very odd yet empowering scene beloved by all fans

There has been a lot of backlash since this movie’s release, claiming that it would cause people relating to Arthur to act on their fantasies and cause chaos. While no violent events have occurred many showings are still being patrolled by police looking out for suspicious behavior, with the Federal Borough of Investigation even investigating some shooting threats

While no sequels have been confirmed, Phoenix has stated that he is interested in working with Philips again on a similar project.

If you are looking for a film with character, tragedy, triumph, and tons of violence, you will want to see Joker