Joker (2019)

Watched in: 4K/HDR, 5.1 Dolby Digital

Joke (2019) at IMDb

It’s always enjoyable to look deeper into the Batman world, so many themes can be explored: dystopia, greed, crime, mental illness, vengeance and family/friends and colleagues. There’s also a lot of opportunity for comedy. I highly recommend the Lego Batman films for comedic value, which recalls the weird 1960s Batman (“I don’t know what was going on there”, Albert) and explores the symbiotic relationship between Batman and Joker.

This film covers the genesis of Joker, or Arthur Flick, and how he became hell-bent on crime, greed and control. Through a failed comedy career, Arthur is beaten up both physically and mentally and failed by multiple support networds: social services, his family and his employer. His declining mental health is on full display, so it’s no wonder how he became the psychopath he’s known to be.

I hope my death makes more cents than my life

Arthur Flick, Joker

It’s clear throughout that there is a feeling that he’s finding himself and trying to discover the greater thing he could yet be. It’s a fascinating insight into his mental condition, too. Though the line in his journal, “the worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t”, was a little too much exposition. The film is exceptionally good – recalling The Taxi Driver, the script, the direction, the photography, the sound; so why try and make it even more obvious what was happening?

Quentin Tarantino raises an excellent point about the powers of film, where they subvert the audience into thinking – or expecting – a scene to go a particular way. That’s epic Directing: the film is directed to direct the audience. Tarantino interview at IGN

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