Monday, October 7, 2019

The Joker!

Nobody thinks Heath Ledger's Joker can be beat right? Well thats right. But Joaquin Phoenix's Joker comes close in this origin story.

Phoenix's Arthur Fleck is an outcast living with his mother in a run down apartment in a run down city. Supporting himself by playing a clown at store closings and childrens hospitals, Fleck also suffers from a condition that makes him laugh whenever nervous, scared, or surprised causing even more trouble for him when he is assaulted by Gotham thugs in an alley while in clown makeup.

Fleck dreams of being a comedian, writing "jokes" in a flop eared journal and attempting a stand up audition in which he simply cackles uncontrollably on stage. It is at these times you wonder about the mental health of Joaquin Phoenix himself, he's so damned good at acting mentally ill.

Fleck buys a gun from a two timing fellow clown, drops it at a kids gathering and gets fired. On the subway home he observes a woman being harassed by 3 pompous Wall Street men. When, of course, he begins to laugh at the situation they beat him up, he pulls his gun and kills all three, an incident that didnt really shock me. I mean who hasnt dreamed of whacking a few of those thieves on Wall Street? Fleck becomes the fodder of Gotham tabloids, begins seeing a woman, and taking care of his sick mother. All is well. Or is it?

Things deteriorate throughout. People who have wronged him die, he meets a prick named Thomas Wayne (father of Bruce), he is called to be on the Gotham version of the Tonight Show, hosted by Robert DeNiro, as the worlds worst comedian. The man's mental illness has gone full Joker. He dresses in the crazy suit we all know, he avoids arrest at anti-Wall Street rallies, he appears on the show with DeNiro and acts accordingly.

Everything about this movie is disturbing from the dark Seven like city, to the Joker dancing down steps to pedophile Gary Glitters Rock N Roll Part 2, to the references to Taxi Driver and King of Comedy, to the violence and cruelty on both sides of the aisle.

I am dark. I enjoy dark cynical movies. So this one lives up to the darkness. Its creepy man. Phoenix is up to the task, maybe too up to the task. I thought it was great. But I'd hold off taking a date to this. Unless you want to be dumped.

One last thing. The FBI warnings about shooters, about Incels being inspired by this character. Forget it. If this kind of mentally ill loner "inspires" you, you're already out of your fucking mind and you dont need a movie to make you do something like that.

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