The Joker: Modern Classic or Overrated?

November 13, 2019

Definitely a Modern Classic

Joker came to theaters on October fourth and in under a month, it has seen much success.  It has already surpassed Deadpool as the highest-grossing R-rated movie and has received near perfect scores all across the board.  While it has had its fair share of controversy, it is widely agreed that it is a masterpiece and is one of the best iterations of the Joker that we have ever seen.  Beware, there are minor spoilers ahead.  

Joker follows a middle-aged, mentally ill man named Arthur Fleck.  Arthur has lived his life with a disorder known as pathological laughter, which causes him to have sudden bursts of laughter that are uncontrollable, regardless of how he feels at the moment.  This affliction makes Arthur’s life harder, but he makes a living as a clown, advertising businesses or visiting children’s hospitals in an attempt to bring joy and laughter to those around him.  Throughout the movie, we watch Arthur face various different hardships, each causing him to descend further into madness. The movie takes a slow and realistic pace, one usually not seen when writing a story about the Joker.  

Joker has seen a lot of controversy since its release.  Many were quick to say that the movie glorifies gun violence and promotes dangerous ideas within today’s society.  Arthur receives a gun from his coworker in order to protect himself after being attacked while on the job. With this gun, Arthur shoots and kills three rich men on the subway in self-defense.  This causes a mass movement in which a majority of Gotham City begins to wear clown masks and start riots, saying that the rich should be killed. Many different media outlets portrayed this as a glorification of gun violence and stated that this presents dangerous ideas that could inspire copycats in society.  A major reason that the fear of copycats exists is because of a tragic event that occurred during the last trilogy that heavily involved the Joker. On July 20th, 2012 Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises was being screened in Aurora, Colorado.  This screening was ground zero for a tragic mass shooting that resulted in the death of twelve people and the injury of seventy others.  This understandably worries people, but the way that gun violence and Arthur’s actions are portrayed in the movie is anything but glorious.  Not only are many against the use of gun violence in the movie, but many are also upset with the humanization of the Joker. In this movie, Arthur is continually beaten down by society and is driven to madness by those around him.  While he is responsible for the actions he commits, most news outlets are against the portrayal that he was driven to becoming the Joker by society and everyday people. It makes viewers insecure about how they treat others and makes them question if they could be creating a Joker in their life.  

Joker is regarded as a masterpiece by many and is even called Oscar-worthy.  Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is nothing less than phenomenal and few can disagree.  Phoenix brings a piece to the role that is completely unique to this Joker. He makes this Joker feel alive and real.  His performance makes the viewers really believe that he has mental instabilities and that he could become the man that is the Joker.  He brings charisma to the role that is usually seen with the Joker. We know his actions in the movie are terrible, yet we can’t help but understand why he’s doing what he’s doing and cheer him on.  

Joker is seeing massive success, and it looks like that success will only continue.  Joker has already become the highest-grossing R-rating movie of all time and it continues to rake in money from the box office.  There’s no doubt that Joker is widely popular and many are happy with the work of Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix.  

Joker is Overrated

The 2019 film Joker can be seen in a variety of ways… spectacular, good, mediocre, and just not too good. In my opinion, this year’s Joker was not the best movie. Joker has a unique story based on the facts from Batman comics and movies. Joker has hated the Wayne Family since he could remember. Joker was inspired to be Batman’s (Bruce Wayne) arch-enemy that’s always there to give batman a hard time. Joker has always had a traditional backstory until this year’s new movie, Joker. 

Joker was not what some were hoping it to be. The expectation of more action then backstory was deceiving. Viewers understand that the point of this movie was to get a different viewpoint of Joker but some viewers don’t like change too much. Some viewers are more in favor of the traditional Joker so this film wasn’t one some liked. Joaquin Phoenix had the mentality of being Joker but some don’t think he was made for the character. His laugh very irritable and it just got annoying after a while because he laughed so much. Just seeing Joaquin Phoenix as Joker wasn’t favored.  

The whole movie felt off in my opinion. Some really didn’t like how it took the majority of the movie to tell Arthur’s story of becoming Joker. There were random scenes that did not make sense to me. There were scenes that seemed like they’re were not needed. Arthur has an incident with a group of guys at a train station and runs to the public bathroom to calm himself. Arthur calms himself by doing various yoga moves. Honestly, that whole scene in the bathroom was not necessary and really confusing. 

If you are a person that does not like too much gore then this movie can be for you and it can also not be for you. The few violent scenes are very graphing to some extent. Yes, the graphic scenes go well with the movie being dark but if you don’t like gore then you should reconsider seeing Joker. There are very few action scenes so if you enjoy action, you may be disappointed until the end. 

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