There were times during the screening of this I considered walking out. Not because the movie was bad in any way. It was because of the emotional turmoil going on inside of me. This is one of those few movies that manages to strike a chord so hard it almost breaks in half.
This is an original standalone origin story of our beloved Joker. It’s about a mentally ill comedian called Arthur Fleck and his struggle to fit into a society that disregards him. This is not your typical villain origin story. It is gritty, extremely hard hitting and at times disturbingly realistic.
The biggest reason Joker hit me so hard was because of plausability. As someone who has suffered from mental illness, I could understand the emotionality presented. It is even presented so well that someone without experience, would get hit hard as well. It is a surreal feeling to emphatize with the joker to such an extent even when he is commiting heinous crimes.
All Arthur wants is acceptance. With an illness that causes uncontrollable laughter when he is nervous, he is cast aside from society and labeled as a crazy person. This leads him down a darker and darker path into delusions and violence. As I sit in my theater chair I feel a rock in my stomach. That rock is still kind of there. That’s how powerful this experience is.
Joker has gotten a lot of flack because of its content. I for one love moviemaking that pushes boundaries. It shines a light on uncomfortable subjects such as us VS them ideologies and mental illnesses in a way mainstream film rarely does. Joker is a masterpiece of our generation.
Before you run to your nearest movie theater, a bit of a warning. If you are in a dark place emotionally, then this movie might be too heavy. It is an excellent film but it is also one of the heaviest movies I have ever seen. Just be aware of that going in.
This review was made possible thanks to our collaborative partner Spegeln.