It’s not a tragedy, it’s a comedy.
Indyfreak - wrote on 10/20/19
Joaquin Phoenix is fantastic as Arthur Fleck, aka the Joker. He’s sad, disturbing, menacing, and haunting to watch. Of all people, it’s the Hangover guy that makes the best interpretation of the iconic character since Christopher Nolan did eleven years ago.
The tension is maintained throughout the movie. It’s not a slasher film though. Much more of a slow burn in the mold of Taxi Driver. The recreation of Gotham City as this grimy seedy hellhole much like a Scorsesesque New York is wonderfully realized.
It’s really not a heroic portrayal of the character either. At first viewers will pity Arthur Fleck for the hapless situation he winds up in. But soon learn he’s far more sinister and dangerous than they realize. It seems to me that the Joker persona he gradually becomes serves more as a Rohrshach test for audiences to determine his descent into madness as the product of nature versus nurture.
It’s indeed an unsettling and uncomfortable film that will leave some viewers unnerved. But it’s a fascinating character study that serves as another rewarding entry to the renewed DC film library.