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Joker (2019) is mind-bending (review)

I finally had the opportunity to watch Joker this week and was quite unnerved by the time the credits rolled. Before you watch this film, you may think it’s just an origin story of how the Joker came to be Batman’s greatest nemesis, but it’s far from that.

This movie deals with mental illness in a way that I have never experienced before. Usually, there is a saving grace in films that surround mental illness. For example, the person gets the help that they need or they find love and that helps them conquer their issues. However, Arthur Fleck is betrayed in each of those areas.

The government lets him, as well as everyone else in the system by cutting funding to mental health support. His so-called friends betray him. His girlfriend turns him away. His mother has issues of her own. Plus, his idol made fun of him on national tv.

Honestly, this movie is an allegory to encourage everyone to just be a decent human being. There are so many moments during the first half of this film where I blurted out my displeasure.

Arthur Fleck

I muttered things like that’s not right, why would they do that, and that was unnecessary. Movie aside, I refuse to accept that people are inherently cruel. You can tell when someone is having an off day and your behavior should accommodate that.

This may be one of the only spoilers I mention, but take a look at the subway shooting. Do you think it’s a good idea to walk up to a clown and start bullying him when he looks disheveled and unhinged?

Certain moments in the movie just made me mad because people can be jerks and its awful.

Beyond that, Arthur starts to relish the fact that his subway murders have sparked outrage from the citizens of Gotham. The outrage causes them to lash out at the elite represented by Thomas Wayne, who is running for mayor. With that in mind, Arthur Fleck’s transition into Joker was dope.

Arthur Fleck, Joker

He went from a gangling shelled off man to this boisterous confident psychopath. Granted he stopped taking his medication and started killing people, but that aside, the visual work was perfectly done.

The cinematography was breathtaking. Phoenix’s performance coupled with the visuals portrayed Arthur’s descent into madness flawlessly.

And after it was all over, I wanted more. I won’t spoil any more of the movie, but the ending made me want to know what Arthur’s next steps were.

Having always seen this story from Bruce Wayne’s point of view, I’ve never even considered how Joker became the Joker. That’s no excuse for bad behavior, but it is something to think about.

I don’t have a negative remark about this film. I was captured in the story from beginning to end. You need to see this film.

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