Review: ‘The Joker’ steals the show

Early life of infamous villain portrayed on big screen


Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Finally making it to the big screen, the sinister Joker displays his early life before turning into the villain fans know and love. “The Joker” premiered on Friday, Oct. 4 and was a great Friday night release. Fans left theaters feeling surprised at what an amazing job DC did at portraying Joker’s character.

The acting was incredible. Joaquin Phoenix did an amazing job playing Joker. As a somewhat underground actor, he flawlessly played such an important role. Not to mention the 52-pound weight loss for the role he was given. It was an incredible performance for such a difficult role to play. The appearance of the Joker was played extremely well by Phoenix, from the long greasy hair to the long smile and limp.

Although popular opinion has made this movie seem much worse than it was, there were several things to like about it. The beginning started pleasantly. The setting portrayed a gloomy early ‘80s feel, similar to New York City. Gotham, the city within the Batman universe, is portrayed as dark, rainy, cold and depressing. It’s the perfect place for a clown madman to awaken.

The soundtrack was as demented as the purposes it was used for. With songs like “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra, “Smile” by Nat King Cole and “Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who, these songs really helped set the environment in Gotham. Because the movie was set in the early ‘80s, jazz was popular. It was really cool to see one of the biggest elements of American history used in a movie that helps the audience understand what was going on in that era. Overall, the music was spectacular. However, fans would change the obnoxious low-string rumble because it was hard to listen to, especially over dialogue; it became annoying fast. 

The best part of the movie no doubt was the plot that did an astounding job at building up suspense until the end. Throughout the movie, there were moments of anxiety with all of the Joker’s fighting antics. During every subway ride, Joker had a clown mask/spray paint on and the lights would flicker on and off and zoom in on his face, which freaked out the audience sometimes but was a good touch. 

However, there were flaws in “Joker.” The film could’ve been more clear about the mental issues Arthur Fleck had been facing since he was a young boy. All fans are told is that he’s been diagnosed with a disorder that makes him laugh in uncomfortable situations. It appeared that there was much more wrong with him and that the Joker as a character is a vast subject; the filmmakers could’ve gone into depth more.

Exploring some pretty controversial social issues like extreme mental trauma and government shutdowns of necessary mental programs, director Todd Phillips did a great job of getting the main point about how Fleck became the Joker. On a scale of one to 10, “Joker” deserves a rating of 8.5/10. There were lots of great things about it; fans just wish the movie portrayed a little more about the Joker and how he came to be.