Arthur Fleck is a man outcast by society and must attempt to live his difficult life, but how much much can he actually take? Not having any real friends and the way his mother has raised him certainly does not help with the chaos forming within Gotham City.
Arthur is a bit a loner working as a clown and still living with his mother Penny. He wants to be a stand up comedian, which is something he believes in his head will happen and work out. In reality he just well isn’t really that funny. When he does appear at a club one night and his condition of laughing at inappropriate moments, which doesn’t actually link to how he actually feels.
It is a haunting film and performance to help show just how hard it can be at times. Especially when it comes to mental health, it is addressed in a few different ways with Arthur or Joker and then with his mother Penny. We get the mention of Arkham hospital and that she was as former patient. It has plenty of depth to try and explain what has caused him to reach breaking point. Can he really just put on a happy face?
He adored watching the Murray Franklin show and is dream was always to be on it, something he fantasies about happening. When the video of his awful attempt at comedy is shown on the show to laugh at him and not with him. Would this be something he could actually cope with? Along with being told things from his mother what will he choose to believe and what will actually be real and true?
Throughout the film I couldn’t help of this quote “Madness is like gravity, all it takes is a little push” (The Joker, The Dark Knight) because I really feel like it helps to sum up this film and the character development. Arthur was always on the edge and it would eventually take something for him to eventually snap. The manner in which this is done was rather spectacular to witness. The build up might have been rather slow but it was hinted at and then small things then happened to grow into bigger things until that was it.
This is seen as a standalone film and an origin story for Joker but we have Thomas Wayne and a young Bruce. I did guess what we would therefore be ending with and I am sure a lot of people would be. The chaos caused in Gotham makes me very interested to see if this will stay a standalone film or link in with another new Batman? I guess we will just have to wait and see.
A film like this relies heavily on the lead performance and Joaquin Phoenix is utterly outstanding. He takes the character to a totally different place to what we have seen before. The infectious laugh that must have been very difficult to do so many times. Haunting is another word I feel I have to use to describe just how impressive he is as Joker/Arthur.
The carnage surrounding this film mainly in the US is rather crazy and having now seen the film I don’t really understand why to be brutally honest. Yes it does have some violent moments but nothing compared to many other films. In the UK it was rated 15, if only they had gone one step further and had more violence to push to an 18.