Joker, featuring popular actor Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role, hit screens in India on October 2, 2019, much to the delight of countless movie buffs. The film, directed by Todd Phillips, has grabbed plenty of attention due to its sensitive topic, and this makes it a high-stakes affair. So, did it live up to expectations and give Joaquin Phoenix the ideal platform to showcase his abilities? Read the Joker movie review to find out.
Joker revolves around the exploits of a failed comedian/clown, who suffers from mental health issues while highlighting his violent streak.
The basic storyline of Joker is quite gripping, and its impact is enhanced by some effective writing. The writers do a fair job of 'showing' the lead character's fall from grace, which adds depth to the on-screen action. A few sequences in the first half feel a little slow. However, the pacing is not an issue on the whole.
Most scenes are a bit predictable but make an impact due to their intensity and organic execution. The subway sequence, in particular, has been shot quite well. The track involving the protagonist and his mother does a fair job of amplifying his loneliness. Similarly, the closing scenes too might leave fans spellbound.
Joaquin Phoenix is the heart and soul of Joker. He underplays things quite beautifully in the therapy sequences, letting the silences do the talking. He comes into his own in the second half and impresses all and sundry with his lively body language and chilling dialogue delivery. His transformation in a few of the violent scenes is pretty effortless and bears testimony to his abilities. He also carries off 'that laugh' like a boss. However, the best thing about his act is that he never goes over the top, making the whole experience even more compelling.
Robert De Niro is decent. However, an actor of his calibre deserved a meatier role. Actresses Frances Conroy and Zazie Beetz are adequate in their roles.
Presentation And Technical Aspects
Joker has a dark tone to it, but refrains from going overboard in glorifying the titular character, who is essentially a 'supervillain'. In fact, it projects the failed comedian as the 'face of chaos', implying that his actions are not acceptable. The background music enhances the shock value of some of the gory sequences, which works in Joker's favour. Other technical aspects have been handled well.
Joaquin Phoenix's Stellar Act
The Subway Sequence
Deals With A Dark Subject In A Sensitive Way
Rocking Background Score
Robert De Niro Is Underutilised
A Bit Predictable
A Few Sequences In The First Half Drag A Bit
Joker is a compelling attempt at storytelling that hits the right notes.