Why Joker was worthy of an eight-minute standing ovation

Because+of+Joaquin+Phoenix%27s+unnerving+performance%2C+he+won+the+Golden+Globe+Award+for+Best+Actor+in+a+Motion+Picture+-+Drama.

Photo Credit: Photo via DC Films under Creative Commons Licence

Because of Joaquin Phoenix’s unnerving performance, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama.

By: Joe Sanfilippo, Club Reporter

Introduction:

Joker is enough to make anyone crazy. The political commentary on the notorious clown himself reached over one billion dollars at the world-wide box office in early November. Just recently in September, Joker won the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice International Film Festival, and even earned an eight-minute standing ovation there. Although the film reached universal acclaim, it was also known to be very controversial. People were very nervous going into the movie opening weekend due to potential violence. But, was the controversy really needed?

Plot:

Arthur Fleck wandered a crime filled Gotham City, alone and depressed. Arthur was picked on for most of his life. He was a clown for his job by day, and a failed stand-up comedian by night. Fueled with hatred by the world around him, Arthur started a slow descent into the psychotic criminal, Joker.

 Cast/Characters:

Joaquin Phoenix was the actor responsible for playing Arthur Fleck. I was convinced from the moment I saw him on screen, until the moment I left. He embodied this role, and it’s extremely difficult to star in a movie with someone who has a mental disability. His transition from Arthur to Joker by the end of the movie was truly believable. Most people will really feel bad for Arthur, and understand his hardships. He also made the last twenty minutes feel outstanding. The entire talk show scene at the end of the movie really had an impact on me, and film analysts should take a closer look into that one particular scene.

Robert De Niro played Murray Franklin. Franklin is a talk show host in Gotham City, and he was also Fleck’s idol. Overall his performance reminded me of Jerry Lewis’ talk show performance in, the King of Comedy.  De Niro served as one of the great side antagonists, and showed the audience some of the more evil people in the world. Thomas Wayne was also another fantastic character that set Arthur up to be what he was by the end of the movie. Brett Cullen played Wayne. He showed me the true narcissistic ways of a snobby guy running for mayor. He didn’t care for the poor, as much as he claimed he did.

Story:

Joker tells a great story with an inspirational message for us as a society. The movie is not just an in-depth character study on Arthur, but on all of the people around him. Todd Phillips and Scott Silver’s commentary is brilliant. Joker’s commentary was giving us a warning about the dangers of how much we have in a hand of creating someone like Arthur. It also serves as a commentary on mental health, and what we should do about it. Joker is reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s, Taxi Driver and the King of Comedy. That’s a good thing, as it adds more to the goal that this movie was trying to accomplish with its audience. As a cinematic masterpiece, Joker will be remembered for a long time.

Joker isn’t just a political commentary, it’s a faithful comic book movie, while also trying something different. Although Batman isn’t in the film, they introduce him as a child in such a unique way. Joker takes risks that many filmmakers won’t take. For instance, Arthur imagines different situations that never happened in his life. Phillips makes us believe things we either want to believe or don’t want to believe. This truly works, and adds more to Arthur’s character background.

Best Scenes:

Joker had some really memorable and iconic scenes. For instance, the stair dancing scene became so iconic that people around the world are dancing on the famous steps in the Bronx. The stair scene showed that Arthur had fully transformed into Joker, and he was ready for his late night talk show act with Murray. Speaking of the late night talk show act; I felt that was the most important scene in the movie. It showed the true horrors of society, and it still impacts me to this day.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, Joker is a fantastic movie with superb acting coming from Phoenix. Keep in mind Joker is rated R for “strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language, and brief sexual images.” I think everyone definitely should give this film a watch. The political messages will impact you.

“And Murray, one small thing. When you bring me out, can you introduce me as Joker?” – Arthur Fleck

Rating:

5/5 Stars

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