Just some quick thoughts-
|Posted: 06 November 2019 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 5
Joaquin Phoenix IS incredible. His movements and use of his body is truly something special and compelling and disturbing. Damn. In many ways I was surprised at just how good he would be.
The cinematography is perfect- gritty AF, bleak, dingy. The "texture" of the film sells the horror/ tragedy that Gotham had become.
The "imagined" scenes worked better than I would have thought. When he first connects with his neighbor, it made my head turn some but then I bought it reasonably well. To reveal that it was all in his head was powerful.
I think one reading of this film is that Joker is a true sad sack, mentally ill person who dreams of greatness (maybe even somehow thinks he deserves it, despite the rest of the world telling him, NOPE) and when pushed to use his gun, ala Bernie Goetz, finally feels power and the psychopathic villain Joker emerges. From that point, he is (nearly entirely) irredeemable, especially when he visits his imaginary gf. neighbor. The one "problem" with his embrace of psychotic behavior though is when he lets the little person clown go. The tension in that seen as he says that he won't hurt the guy and he tries to leave is wickedly powerful but ultimately letting him go seemed like a mistake by the director, a "slip" out of the character they had just presented. (It would have also been far more like the psychotic darker comic version for Joker to say, "I won't hurt you" and then horribly demonstrate that he was "just kidding".
I think the subtext that he is considered an anti-hero isn't about him being a psychopath, but it's about the way that the public perceives him in killing the rich 1 percenters. They don't know that he killed his kind and lovely neighbor and his mom and others. They have made him a symbol ONLY for standing up to the apparent powers that be.
I thought the ending in the office of the psychiatrist was very strange tonally. It was shot somewhat differently as I recall. It seemed somewhat dream like (especially with him running Keystone Kops style at the end) but it also makes me wonder if this is also supposed to be read as a fabricated version of his life that he just told some psychiatrist and none of it can be believed?
I hated the Batman and Thomas Wayne stuff as a comic fan. I don't think the film needed it at all really. If it kept the Thomas Wayne stuff and ditched the meeting with li'l brucie, I might have also appreciated it more.
As an exploration of a disturbed soul, this film is very interesting, strong and probably worth watching and talking about.
As an "origin" story of The Joker, I say, nope.