Joker, to sum it up succinctly— is an experience. I’ve seen it twice now, and since I don’t want to spoil it, I will keep this review brief. This movie is a must-see, not only for its quality, but its ability to to make the viewer feel fear without inherently being a horror film. Maybe I’m looking too much into it, but the film was utterly spectacular in my opinion.
Both times I watched it I was unable to take my eyes off of the movie as I noticed more references to other characters among the mythos and noticed the foreshadowing of later events to come. Even after seeing it twice, it still sticks in my mind as an amazing film. Joaquin Phoenix does an amazing job portraying the Joker, as his movements, dialogue, and general stature demand attention, and keep you captive as you watch the Joker’s downward spiral into insanity.
However, that being said, the movie still has its downsides. While I don’t think a movie like this should be seen as a conversation starter about mental health issues like some do, the film admittedly does not do the best job of portraying the idea that people that are treated like this need help. It is more of a glorification of what a terrible environment, a lack of help, and constant self-deprecation and misery can do to the human psyche. It’s just that in the Joker’s case, he was able to follow this horrifying reality to its apex. But I digress, as there is much to delve into on the psychological aspect of things. Other than that one issue I had, there wasn’t much that was a hinderance to the overall quality. While some of the lines can come off as very “We LiVe IN a SoCiETy”-esque, especially during the later half, the scenes still remain haunting, like the infamous “dancing” scene. The cinematography is something to behold as well—although I’m not a movie critic, I can tell a lot of effort went into crafting a truly memorable movie.
So, if I had to give a review score like other sites, I would give it a 9.4/10. (Why a .4? I don’t know. Some sites do that somehow.) The film is amazing and it has some great potential to win many awards. With every second of the film, it’s more than a standard movie, but an analysis of the human psyche and the effects that lead to insanity. So, go see it if you haven’t already.
DeMere Strickland is the senior editor-in-chief of The Rambler. He is a member of the Class of 2020. His interests include video games, comics, and art. He lives with his sister and his mother.