Joker Leaves a Smile on Audiences

Mckenzie Martinez, Writer

When the first life action origin movie of Joker was announced, DC fans of the clown prince villain were anxious. But once Joaquin Phoenix was cast as the lead, this led to a hopeful excitement for movie goers that was perfect in the end. Joker gives a risky and beautiful look at how a person becomes one of the most iconic villains.

However, no matter the controversy and hesitation, I can say that this movie is worth a watch in theaters. It put a smile on my face and I’m sure it’ll put one on yours too.

The Joker’s origin story has never been shown in a live action movie. In fact, the origin story of the character has not been explored in much other than Alan Moore’s comic, “The Killing Joke.” The reason for the history of the Joker being shrouded in so much mystery is because of what he stands for and not what he was. The villain is a symbol of chaos in the DC comic book universe and him having an ambiguous beginning makes him scarier and more unpredictable. So, when the trailer was put out for a new movie with Joaquin Phoenix, I was nervous and excited.

The movie opens with a shot of Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill, failed stand-up comedian who lives with his elderly mother, studying his painted face. His life is tragic, as he is beat up and alone with no real connection to anything. Consequently, as events transpire, a darkness starts to surface, and he is pushed to his limits leading to his becoming the Joker.

This portrayal of Phoenix as the Joker is unique and mesmerizing. Every action he does is painful and beautiful and truly shows the troubles he is going through. Since he is acting as a man turned villain, Phoenix effortlessly embodies a Joker of sad charisma and brutality.

The film has been surrounded in controversy with reported warnings over the violence and many took caution by not watching it opening week.

However, I can say that although chaos is at the core of the movie, there is no underlying message to convince audience members to be violent or that portrays mental illness as an evil. The Joker is a nonredeemable villain who is evil, so I love that the writers and directors made sure to draw the line between victim and switch the character to a true villain.

This movie has gorgeous cinematography and amazing acting from Phoenix. Along with its great soundtrack, Joker pushes the limits of entering the mind of a disturbed man and does so with complete artistry. Go in with an open mind and learn how the Joker gets his smile.