Joker (2019) is a film directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz. It tells the story of Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man who, after have been abused throughout his life, he becomes the Joker, one of the most popular villains in the world of comic books.
This new movie about the origin of the Joker does not belong to any previous filmic continuity and takes great distance from any other movie based on comic books of recent years. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe seek to create great sagas of action and fantasy, Joker is a film with limited budget, approached from a more artistic perspective.
The film takes inspiration both in the structure of the script and in the construction and development of the main character from titles such as Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) and The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1983). Both movies were starred by Robert De Niro, who in this new film plays the famous host Murray Franklin, a fundamental figure in the development of the Joker.
The directing in Joker is a visual delight, with beautiful compositions and accurate color palettes in every one of the scenes of the film, evoking the cinematography of the 70s. The impressive performance of Joaquin Phoenix is the strongest point of the film, as the camera follows him all the time and introduces us to the world from Arthur‘s unreliable perspective.
Joker addresses themes such as mental health, citizen responsibility and justice, and plays with the points of view that different characters in the story may have, according to their particular contexts. It’s a scary movie that will probably be remembered as one of the best of its genre.
Although it does not belong to the main saga of Warner and DC films, we hope that Joker‘s achievements influence future productions, especially the next Batman film, starring Robert Pattinson.