“I will tell you how I became like this. Don’t forget, if I did not exist, you would not exist. Hahahaha!!!”.
These are just the starting lines of another Joker story, told by Joker, usually towards Batman. Even if you listen to it in your dream, or you see it in a movie theatre, don’t believe him. He is trying to fool you! This is his biggest weapon: to make you believe that he has the right to become such a criminal, and all his behaviors have a very-well justified reason. For example, he robs the banks because this money is already insured by companies and he spends this money to boost up the economy. He kills criminals who would kill him; so, he defends himself (don’t get into small details such as a gun was pointed to these criminals!). He helps many other people, so people support him.
But is this one true?
His story may not be whole of it, so what? He is the funny part of Batman. He has his sense of humor. Serious people also don’t tell you the whole story. This is Gotham, so you must already know these dark politicians, police managers. They never tell you that they spend your taxes to rescue their own companies which got bankrupt, because it is necessary for the economy. They also wait for Batman to catch all the ‘bad’ people. Besides, they are boring. Why should Joker bore you with all the details of the truth? Batman is the dark side of Gotham, whereas Joker is the fun side! Just enjoy him.
This is Joker. So, if you are making a movie of him, people should have a pity for him; and they would say that he is right at his actions. This is the delirium of hopeless people. That is why you will read many reviews which will say that Joker is a movie which praises violence. Don’t lose your hope. If you have the determination of Batman, you will realise that he is not telling all the truth. So, this movie does not show Batman, but rather it gives the opportunity how Batman is feeling when he is told a story by Joker. You will have the chance to get into the shoes of Batman. You will need to realize what is wrong and what is right. Even Batman cannot always realize!
Is it a breakthrough for the cinema?
From a cinematographic point of view, Todd Phillips makes references to many other movies, but the strongest reference is to Taxi Driver (1976). However, in Taxi Driver, the shots of the main character were not from a close distance; therefore, we were not in close relation with the feelings of the character. It seems like Todd wants to be in the shoes of Joker and makes us believe what Joker is telling and he tries to bias us towards Joker’s innocence. There is nothing experimental or innovative with the cinematography of the movie. Joaquin Phoenix seems to have a deep understanding of Joker. If the academy members liked DC, he would have gotten an oscar for his acting.
Overall, if you like comics, and a fan of Batman, I would recommend to see this movie. No movie really reflects the spirit of a comics, but I would place this one after the Nolan’s Batmans.
If you haven’t watched it yet, have a nice time!