Although Joker is the iconic supervillain of Batman, this is not a superhero movie at all, and the only thing relates to this movie to the comic book would be the name of the characters. Other than that, this is a movie that criticizes and points out the problems of our society via Joker.
Arthur Fleck implies to be everyone who is like us working hard every day to survive on the bottom of this society. But he gets nothing for his hard-working because the world is sick, and no one gives a shit about nobody.
Thomas Wayne is the any rich man in our world, who is working hard on creating an image of a nice, caring, honest charity lover but truly don’t care anyone else in the world but himself and his pocket and would abuse his power to screw other people up.
Joaquin Phoenix has shown really, really incredible acting in this movie, you would be impressed that there could be a human being who has this kind of acting, so amazing, so inhuman, and so multilevel.
I would say there are at least 4 kinds of laughs he portrayed.
- Painful laugh: Arthur is traumatized by his brain because he has suffered from physical abuse in his childhood. Every time when he is emotional, he would laugh out loud and he can’t control it, and Joaquin totally nailed it. The laugh seems to be LOL kind of laugh but you would find the pain of Arthur tries very hard to stop it but can’t if you listen and pay attention to how he laughed. Joaquin absolutely deserves an Oscar because of that kind of laugh. No word can describe how unbelievable the laugh is acting not something natural.
- Go-with-the-stream laugh: In the movie, there are some comedy shows due to Arthur wants to be a comedian so he watches and learns from other comedians. But most of the time Arthur doesn’t understand the jokes or maybe because of the brain damage, he always laughs slower than others. They are fake laughs- that kind of the laughs you make because everyone else is laughing so you think you have to but you don’t really want to.
- Happy-but-only-in-imagination laugh: Arthur has a real laugh about the happiness that happens to him, such as invited to the stage by his favorite comedian, who has a relationship with his beautiful neighbor; however, those are just his imaginations, none of those truly happens in his real life. It is sad he has no real laughs in his real life but wants to have some good laughs so much, so, he can only enjoy those laughs in his own imaginations.
- Life-is-a-comedy laugh: After Arthur discovers the truth (or lies) of his whole life, he loses his mind of being a rational man. He realizes the life he thought was a tragedy one is truly a comedy- everything is a joke in his life, nothing is real, nothing is true, and nothing is his in his own life, his life is a comedy written by God or whatever the higher power is. So, he frees himself from being Arthur, from being a nobody, from being a victim in a sick world- he becomes the Joker. Now he laughs, truly laughs because he does not follow the rules made by wealthy hypocrites and suffers no more.
It is not surprising this film is not allowed to release in China because this film is a heavy punch to our world, to our broken system that many people still wants to follow so the riches can continue to enslave them, and to any country allows a few people to control most of the resources or even the government is the one doing that. Countries like China definitely don’t want their people to see this and might start a revolution.
Although the movie delivers a message of a dark, true social issue, the film itself is not so good. The directing and the visual design are truly beautiful and unique, but this is a film, not a painting. How the story is being told and how the story structure is being designed are more important. Unfortunately, it is a slow, dull movie without Joaquin’s incredible acting. And apparently the director Todd Phillips is not good enough to handle Joaquin’s acting; it’s like a chef can’t handle luxury ingredients such as lobster and the whole meal is ordinary except the lobster itself.
Overall, it is still a must-see movie. Not only for Joaquin’s amazing acting but also for being inspired by thinking about our society, our world. Every one of us could be like Arthur becoming the Joker after a series of tragedies. Are we still going to ignore we are being enslaved by the few wealthy people and pretend our world is perfectly normal and our system, no matter democracy, capitalism, communism,etc., are worth being followed?
Which is the crazy one? The Joker or our world?
Do you think Joaquin deserves an Oscar? Feel free to leave your comment below!!