It’s the height of crime in Gotham City. Vulnerable Arthur Fleck has a passion for comedy and a sense of humour that no one quite understands. He struggles to fit into a society that shows him little regard, and the challenges he faces push him into a downward spiral towards a violent revolution. In this film, based on DC comics’ characters, Arthur’s alter-ego and Batman’s nemesis, the Joker, is born.
There is no doubt that the Joker is one of the most liked villains of the DC universe and yet upon the release of this film there was much scepticism about its success. Undoubtedly, there are many appealing aspects to the film, a strong cast, a perhaps long overdue stand-alone film with a pleasantly familiar dark style. Furthermore, the film also presents Arthur with having a neurological disorder that prevents him from speaking clearly and acting appropriately in difficult situations. Showing real disorders that affect many people makes Arthur a more realistic character and one we feel deep sympathy for. The visuals and interactions with other characters highlight the depression and trauma Arthur experiences.
But how can you create a masterpiece based solely on one character – the Joker? Firstly, the writing is well-researched and sculpted to allow for realism and a strong emotional performance. There are powerful turning points in the film which force the audience to invest in the character and his story. Star Joaquin Phoenix is an Oscar winning performer who flawlessly conveys his two characters and manages to also compliment the role of the late Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight 2008. The astonishing set for the film exudes an aura and depth mirroring the darkness within the Joker. This Joker still lives up to his reputation and remains as one of the most liked villains in the DC universe!
Guest Film Review – Charlotte Ezikwa