Chaos Rising

Hersson Piratoba

Chris Shields, Writer

Co-writers and directors Todd Phillips and Scott Silver combined their genius to bring us the masterpiece Joker this October. Brilliant writing, unfathomable acting, an epic score, and an all around perfect story line coalesce to make what is sure to be a cinematic classic. Spanning a little over two hours, Joker is packed with outstanding qualities and grabs and holds the viewer’s interest the entire time. 

The film follows Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) and his everyday struggles in his unfortunate circumstances in life. Fleck lives in poverty with his mentally ill mother, works a dead-end job at which he is mentally and physically abused, and fights to seek help for his ever-growing list of mental illnesses. It can be argued that the main message of the movie is that society turns its back on people in need, and no good can come of that. 

Fleck ends up inciting an accidental revolution in the town of Gotham in a “we’re not gonna take it anymore” protest of the middle/lower class people against the rich. Arthur is literally driven insane with everything going on in his life, and the town of Gotham, specifically the Wayne Foundation, turns their back on him and other citizens like him. The movie almost preaches “karma is a b****” stance on politics and society as a whole.

Joker is rated R because of its violence, dark nature, and crude language, and rightfully so. This movie, more than any other, is definitely not for the mentally unstable. If the viewer is not in a healthy state of mind, this movie could be extraordinarily disturbing and traumatizing. The film portrays depressing elements and mental illnesses all too accurately, which is the reasoning behind all the warnings and restrictions. Depression, PTSD, self harming, extreme violence, graphic images, and complete mental breakdowns are all major elements in the story and should be taken seriously.

The main talking point of this entire film is the star of the movie himself, Joaquin Phoenix. Never in my life have I seen such purely perfect acting in a movie. Phoenix expertly conveys a variety of different mental illnesses perfectly. Method acting the role of Joker is ultimately what killed the late great Heath Ledger, and has more than likely taken its toll on Phoenix as well. He lost 50 pounds for the role. The sheer emotion he puts into every second of the film is Oscar worthy, and there is sure to be an uproar if he does not win awards for this performance. If anyone else had been cast as the lead, the film wouldn’t have been nearly as outstanding as it is.

Joker is easily one of the better movies to come out in 2019 and fulfills and exceeds every expectation. The acting is insane, the plot is gripping, and the visuals are magnificent. The message of the story is relevant to our society today because it preaches that society turning its back on people has unforeseen effects. If you are a DC Comics fan, or enjoy unsettling cinema, go see Joker now.

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