Movie Review: “Joker” is No Joke

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By Leslie Taveras, Staff Reporter

This past weekend I saw “Joker,” a stand-alone story for Batman’s psychotic antagonist. The movie starred Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker and it was directed by Todd Phillips. This movie tells the story of Arthur Fleck, who is isolated, bullied and shunned by society. Arthur then begins to turn slowly into madness as he transforms into a criminal mastermind.

         Zazie Beetz plays Sophie Dumond, a single mom who is Arthur’s key love interest. Frances Conroy plays Penny Fleck, who is Arthur’s fragile mother. Marc Maron portrays Ted Marco, who is Arthur’s agent. Brett Cullen plays Thomas Wayne, who is a billionaire philanthropist running for mayor of Gotham City. Douglas Hodge plays Alfred Pennyworth, who is the Wayne family butler. Dante Pereira-Olson plays Bruce Wayne, who is the alter ego of, yes, Batman himself. However, do not expect any belt action from Joker’s childhood version of Bruce Wayne. 

       Arthur lives a low-quality life with his mother, Penny. While Penny, who is sick and elderly, spends all her days at home, Arthur works as a rent-a-clown who works on the street spinning signs, and at children’s hospitals. However, because he has a condition that makes him laugh at the most inappropriate times, leading to Arthur being constantly beaten. Budget cuts then make him unable to afford the medication needed for his condition, and his co-worker gives him a gun for safety.

       Arthur slowly turns into the Joker, one murder at a time.   

       I believe that the acting in the movie Joker was astonishing. The actors were cast as parts that fit them very well, they were able to feel the character and portray the character as the director saw fit. The acting choices made the character for each person more interesting and I believe it gave the actors a lot of knowledge within themselves and who they were portraying, which made it simpler for them to get into their parts because any theater person would know how hard it is to fit into a specific character, but everything fit so well together and made the storytelling deeper than characterized.  

      The director knew exactly what he was doing and he knew what he was envisioning and how he wanted the movie to go about. The angles, the cast, the acting directions and/or choices by the director were given very clearly and were taken as told.         

    This movie draws you in, brings you into the Joker’s world. It helps you understand his background story and why he was led to become who he is today. If you’re a fan of Batman or even the Joker himself, I think you will love this movie and won’t regret seeing it. I can’t wait to see it again for the second time. 

     THE FINAL WORD: I would definitely say it’s a 10 out of 10 rating for me, a must-see.