I’m Not Kidding (Movie Thoughts: Joker)

joker-critics-posterI have been resisting ‘Joker’ since it opened. But it’s been tough. I didn’t want to be part of the hype. Look, I have no problem with hypes, but this one rubs me the wrong way. It’s definitely a polarizing film – I have spoken to people lauding it as a masterpiece, and those who dismiss it as utter rubbish. I knew, at some point, I would have to break my rule of not seeing superhero commercial movies (except one starring Tom Holland) so I told myself I might as well go and dig in. Besides, the producers describe this origin story movie as a standalone one and really not connected to the DC Universe.

And guess what? I liked it a lot. It’s not going to be my favorite movie of the year, and surely will not be included in my Top 10, but it entertained me. I thought its production values were excellent, capturing 80s New York City, and setting it to a specific mood. The story had holes, but for the most part I went along for the ride. As for Joaquin Phoenix, I thought he gave it all, but at times  he gave it too much. In general I like subtle performances, but this went all out, all gusto. A lot of times it felt like acting with a capital A, like he is begging for an award. I mean, I probably would be a little upset if he swept the awards season, but I won’t want to die. But let’s talk about the violence? I am a little concerned about how children will perceive it. Over Halloween, there were so many men with joker makeup and masks I fear some misguided kid will imitate this character. I wish the screenplay had a little more back story or motivation for Arthur Fleck, but I guess that is not Todd Phillip’s main concern here. It should be,

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