Review: “Joker” is a horrific masterpiece

Abigail Rodriguez, Leopard Life Staff Writer

Todd Phillips’s latest film, “Joker,” has left audiences numb when leaving the theatre. Although the Joker is known to be one of the most iconic supervillains in DC comics, Phillips has created a whole new perspective for all viewers.

The story takes place in 1981 in Gotham City, which is made to feel like an extremely terrifying place for people who are in the same financial and mental state as Arthur Fleck, the Joker (played by Joaquin Phoenix). Fleck is suffering from poverty and mental illnesses like PBA (laughing at innapropriate times), psychosis, and severe depression. 

From a young viewer’s perspective, the scenes and intense plot was a lot to take in. The moviegoer experiences a great amount of pity and distress for Fleck, particularly in the first scene were no one seems to show any sympathy for people like the Joker due to Gotham City’s poor economy. 

I think there are many reasons as to why this film can be very powerful. The improvisation of Phoenix as the character Fleck, and the Joker could be a real person that you might encounter in today’s day and age. 

The cinematography enhances the realism as well. Gotham City is made to feel like a gritty and unforgivable place, very similar to today’s modern New York City. 

The score also plays a big part with the mental health aspect of the movie. Songs like “That’s Life” and “Smile” by Frank Sinatra give insight on how Fleck was making up happy ideas in his head. Original songs in the soundtrack like “Defeated Clowns” or “Call me Joker” by Hildur Gudnadottir show the more eerie aspect of the story, which shows Fleck’s mental instability. 

This is definitely a show for an older audience. The movie may be confused with Marvel or DC type movies, yet this movie is focused on the Joker and how he was a failed comedian who had many issues. 

Altogether I would recommend this movie to a more mature audience. I believe this movie is a masterpiece that gives a good representation of how important taking care of mental health is.