I’m sure we’ve all heard of the new movie Joker, the origin story of one of the most well known villains in the DC universe. Directed by Todd Phillips, (Also known for The Hangover and A Star Is Born) and starring Joaquin Phoenix (Also known for Gladiator and Her) Joker has already made $556.6 million dollars in the twelve days it’s been in theaters and is set to make $600 million dollars during its run in theaters. But does it deserve the attention?
Though I personally thought Joker was a very good movie, the reviews have been all over the place. From a comic book perspective the movie lacked all connection with the comic book Joker. However, this should be expected based on Phillips claim in a June interview that he was ‘not a comic book guy’ and would not use ‘anything’ from the comic books. Many people also felt that Joker was a very slow movie, and commented on Rotten Tomatoes that it was ‘boring’ and should’ve ‘cut the last thirty minutes’. A handful also thought that Joker was an inaccurate depiction of mental illness, setting a bad example for people that are going through similar issues in their life.
Despite the negative feedback, Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the Joker- Arthur Fleck- is by far outstanding. The movie darkly illustrates the feelings of loneliness and longing to be seen that drive the character Arthur Fleck into insanity. From the job he can never do right, to the laughing he can’t stop, and finishing with the secrets and betrayals of his childhood, Joker is a movie that will leave you with a new perspective on mental illness and isolation.