First off, if Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t win an Oscar for his role, then something is wrong with the academy.
Like a majority of people, I felt that Heath Ledger was the ultimate portrayal of the Joker. In some respects, he still is. Heath’s Joker worked will in Nolan’s Batman universe. Nolan’s Joker was grittier than what we were used to with Nicholson and Romero. As gritty as it was, it was still based in a fantasy universe. Would Heath still have won an Oscar for his role if he was still alive? I don’t believe so.
Then we have the train wreck of Jared Leto’s Joker. Going from Heath’s Joker to Leto’s is like going from soda to water. Yeah they’re both wet, but that’s the only thing they have in common. We can’t really blame Leto for his take on the Joker, that blame goes to Warner Brothers for allowing it. It’s ok to revision the look of Joker, but Warner Bros. went to the extreme.
Now we have Phoenix’s Joker. The reason I feel this Joker works so well and is better than Heath’s is because the character can end up being any of us. His mental illness/disorder was true to life. Watching him transform after his medication was cut off, shows how millions of people have to deal with an illness when insurance companies wont cover the meds or how pharmaceutical companies want to over charge. Watching him contemplate suicide and then killing Murray reminded me of when i go to the VA and they ask “do you want to hurt yourself or hurt someone else?”. My answer is no, i don’t want to hurt myself, yes i want to hurt someone else. Just to be clear, im not talking about killing anyway lol just want to beat someones ass sometimes. Being delusional about his neighbor was so well done, I can only compare it to the Sixth Sense. You feel sorry for him and then see him find a love who accepts him, only to find out that it was all in his head.
There are a few scenes that I want to talk about. First is the dancing on the steps. Who ever thought of using Gary Glitter is awesome. Sure the guy is a pedo, but this song matches so perfectly being set in the 80s. And for those complaining about it being used, every stadium in the US plays this damn song. Second is the killing of Mur-ray. Loved how he called him that. As Joker was getting upset, you could feel the realness as he raised his voice.
“This movie shouldn’t be shown, it will trigger people” Yes, let’s ban a movie because it might trigger someone. If that’s the case, just shut down theaters now because someone will get triggered by something sometime or another. I think what it does is open peoples eyes that mental illness is real and that we need to find help for those suffering from it.
“This movie is too dark. I had to leave with my kids.” First off, why would you take your kids to see a rated “R” movie? That’s your own dumb ass fault. Second, “You get what you fucking deserve!”