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Movie Review: Joker

Joker was nothing short of riveting. It's not your typical comic book adaptation with gratuitous action sequences as it was very much a slow burn character study of Arthur Fleck.

While it was unsettling to watch mostly on it's strikingly dark and disturbing theme, it was not as startlingly violent as I expected - given the criticism the film got from being too brutal and for condoning violence (?) in general. The direction was great, the narrative was surprisingly grounded, the cinematography was stunning with a color palette that filled the landscape of the film, and the musical score was almost scarce but incredibly haunting.

As for the Joker himself, Joaquin Phoenix was just absolutely sensational. He just thrived carrying this film under his shoulders and the way he skillfully threaded that thin line of creating sympathy for his character and yet subtly manifesting a brewing darkness behind his eyes was genius. Yes, Heath Ledger's take was instantly iconic, but his portrayal of the role felt unique to him and his choices on some of the character nuances were impeccable.

It's hard to say if Joker was "the best comic book movie ever" - since it all boils down to preference - but, to me, this will rank up as one of the greats. Sure, the lack of a hero character made the film uncomfortable to watch, but maybe that was the point - to make people ask some hard questions. I don't think it glorified or condoned violence. It just depicted how someone might lose it and choose to live a criminal life like Joker who we all know was a mass murdering sociopath to begin with. What do we actually expect him to do? Tickle people until they die?

Movie Review: Joker Reviewed by DAM on 12:16 PM Rating: 5

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