Musings in the Dark: Joker.



A general search of "Joker" will reveal all kinds of analyses and think pieces about the latest DC flick.  Almost all of them praise the movie and go on and on about how it may very well be the best movie of 2019.

Mild spoilers ahead.

I'm not sure if I would say all that, but I will say that the movie is pretty good.  I saw it twice and I looked at it as a character study of a mentally unwell man's descent into madness and not necessarily the origin story of the Clown Prince of Crime.  While I appreciated the Thomas Wayne tie-in (and definitely appreciated the fact that he was portrayed as an asshole instead of a saint), I was focused on Arthur Fleck.  

As an author, I love stories with unreliable narrators and Arthur is as unreliable as they come.  The movie expertly demonstrates this. You're left questioning how much of the film actually happened and how much of it was in Arthur's mind.  I remember a scene with him and Sophie where I actually questioned out loud if what was I was seeing was real because come on...Arthur's game just wasn't that strong.

The whole subplot about Arthur's true parentage is another example.  We are told one thing by his crazy-ass mama, and then are told something else by someone else.  A little while later, a quick shot of a black and white photograph clarifies the issue as far as I was concerned, but by then Arthur no longer gives a fuck.

My favorite scene is near the end, when Arthur is a guest on his favorite show and goes head up with the host, Murr-AY Franklin (emphasis Arthur).  After some back and forth, Arthur says, "What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like crap? You get what you fucking deserve!"  Whether MurrAY deserved what he got is debatable.

Anyway, I enjoyed the movie for what it was, but I hope like hell that there are no sequels.  Leave it alone.  Grade: B+

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