Angry men who don’t feel connected to society, people who want to lash out at the haves that seem to own everything around them, and give nothing back. Fantasies of living the happy life, at being connected to the real world.
When the world gets crazier, the crazy start coming to the surface.
And so, JOKER is born.
I sat there at times bored by what was going on. I didn’t understand the reason for the film to exist. Is it because in 2016, the world decided to just hurl massive amounts of shit? I get the feeling that Todd Phillips thinks so. Judging from interviews and comments made in the aftermath of its seemingly bonkers win at Venice, he seems to have gotten it into his head that the world is broken. That he doesn’t fit in anymore.
The director of OLD SCHOOL (a film I legitimately enjoy) has lost his sense of humour. Or at least, the world has moved on from jacking off babies (THE HANGOVER).
His partner in crime is Joaquin Phoenix. An actor I adore. His performances in THE MASTER, HER and YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE are some of the best of the 21st Century. I admire his performance in this. His take on the iconic role is different enough to be unique. But what made The Joker so fascinating for me in his best screen appearence in THE DARK KNIGHT, was that he was a force of chaos. There was a damaged human being underneath that makeup, but Heath Ledger didn’t want to know that person, he was more interested in the chaotic ying to Batman’s yang.
And that I find is the issue with this Joker. Phoenix does not have a counter, the world is as crazy as he his. And it is less interesting when there isn’t a billionaire in a Bat costume fighting back.
I find myself to have been lucky enough to be sat next to a couple who revelled in every ‘shock’ moment. They gasped in excitement whenever a reference was made towards the Caped Crusader. The final scene, I could feel the excitement coming from them.
For me though, this was a DC Elseworlds Graphic Novel on screen. An alternate tale that isn’t vital. Even it it tries so hard to be.
If you were to find yourself wanting to see this, just watch Scorsese’s THE KING OF COMEDY, Lynne Ramsey’s YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE and Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT. You’d be better off with watching those 3, than the amalgamation that Todd Phillips has thrown together.