“Joker” is Warner Bros. Pictures’ first venture into the DC Dark Movie concept and has received an 8-minute standing ovations after the movie’s August 31 premiere showing at the Venice Film Festival..The applause was directed at the excellent work achieved by director Todd Phillips and actor Joaquin Phoenix.
Nearly everyone was taken by surprise at how a DC comic book character can be a plausible subject of a film study that could leave adult film viewers feeling disturbed; realizing that such a character as Arthur Fleck may actually exist today.
The “Joker” in this movie is actually not part of the DC Extended Universe, but a character in an original tale spun by Director Phillips, based but not exactly lifted from Batman’s iconic archnemesis Joker. Dark, disturbing and sinister is how critics described the movie, aptly rated R for Restricted. The rating means viewers under 17 years old should be accompanied by a parent or guardian to see this film.
Yet the very darkness of the story and of Phillip’s Joker character provided the material that made the sterling performance of Joaquin Phoenix stand out and shine. In fact many raved that his acting is deserving of an Oscar award. Never mind if Heath Ledger’s multi award-winning portrayal of Joker had raised the bar, even if Ledger’s Joker character is the comic book criminal who exists in the DC Universe of superheroes.
Joaquin Phoenix made his own mark, in portraying the mentally unbalanced Arthur Fleck leading to Fleck’s transformation and eventual unhinging as the deranged Clown of Crime in a world not far away.
Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Could Tap a Disturbing Feelingf
Joaquin Phoenix himself underwent physical transformation in order to effectively portray an Arthur Fleck type of character. He lost weight to whittle down his physique into a lanky geek filled with so much unhappiness and rage at how the world is treating him. As Arthur Fleck, his nearly emaciated ribs and shoulders protrude in trying to control his emotions of gloom and despair; struggling in a world that he used to imagine as one that would bring him happiness.
Yet you will be mesmerized at how Phoenix’s Arthur finally releases his rage. He unravels a monstrous criminal smeared with make up, topped by a mop of greasy green hair while wearing a contrasting stark orange and rust-colored suit.
As one witnesses the transition, it may leave a disturbing feeling of wondering if somehow, somewhere or at some point, one may have contributed to the unhinging of someone like Arthur Fleck.