Joker (2019) Trailer Review: High Expectations from Todd’s Deconstruction of Joker

Joker (2019) Trailer Review: High Expectations from Todd’s Deconstruction of Joker

CRITIC'S RATING    4.0/5
AVG READERS' RATING:    5.0/5
Movie Name
Joker
DIRECTION
Todd Phillips
GENRE
Drama, Psychological Thriller
DURATION
00 hours 02 minutes

Joker Review


Warner Bros. has unveiled the first teaser-trailer of Joker, its upcoming origin story of the classic Batman villain. It's directed by Todd Phillips (Old School, The Hangover Trilogy). He also wrote the screenplay of wacky comedy film Borat. His latest one stars Joaquin Phoenix in the main role. The trailer gives us our first look at Phoenix's iteration of Joker, a clown and comedian from Gotham named Arthur and everything that can go wrong in his life has gone wrong. He's beaten up and humiliated on the streets and in the subway, and he muses, "Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?" In the trailer, we see his descent into madness, appearing at the very end in costume as the Joker.


Joker goes back 1981 to find how Arthur Fleck, "a man utterly disregarded by society" reaches his point of saturation and becomes a part of the criminal underworld of Gotham City. It looks as if Batman is hardly going to feature in this film which could work in Joker's favour as in the absence of Batman, the whole focus is going to be on the origin and making of Joker and the audience will be able to sympathize and understand his creepiness. The cast also includes Robert De Niro as a talk show host, Zazie Beetz, Marc Maron, Bill Camp and Frances Conroy as Arthur's mother.


Warner Bros. found an enormous amount of success with Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Batman saga, but the other movies in DCEU did not match the success nor popularity of MCU movies. The standalone films like Wonder Woman, Shazam! and Aquaman seem to be turning things around for the studio.


Phoenix is the latest actor to attempt his version of Joker. The most popular and iconic portrayal was Heath Ledger's Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Jack Nicholson's Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman is also hard to look past. Phoenix's rendition seems to draw little from both the veteran actors and more from his own characters in the past. He has also lost a lot of weight for the role and his transformation is clearly visible. Simply put, the Joker we see in the trailer is Joaquin Phoenix's Joker, and no one else's.


Phoenix explores how an indifferent society lead to a man going insane, but the transformation is going to be as much mental as it is physical and he also embodies the body language of Joker as the trailer highlights. "All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day," he sighs. Phoenix said while speaking to Collider, "It's kind of built into the source material in some ways. I think it's cool when people do that. I think that genre, comic books, kind of lends itself to having different people play the same character and interpret it in a different way."


Joker's lines that stand out in the trailer are: "I used to think my life was a tragedy. But now I realize, it's a comedy", "My mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face." and "The worst part about having a mental illness is people expect you to behave, as if you don't!"


Joker will hit theaters on October 4th, 2019.


Analysis

    Direction
    4.5/5
  • Dialogues
    4/5
  • Audience Attention
    4.5/5
  • Background Music
    3.5/5
  • Star Cast
    3.5/5

The Verdict

Todd Phillips’ Joker is a stand-alone movie separate from the DCEU. It is a psychological-thriller with an R rating so it is expected to be more serious and unlike any other typical comic-book movie. Joker is going to trace the origins of the most talked about villain since Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Hannibal Lecter. It dives deep inside the life of a failed stand-up comedian, Arthur Fleck. Another thing that has given Joker a whole new dimension is its inspiration from Martin Scorsese’s (also a producer) Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy (Robert De Niro pays homage to his own role) where it draws its bleak and dark-comedy tone. I have high expectations from Todd Phillips’ deconstruction of Joker which is made on a modest budget of $55 Million, so the attention will be concentrated on the character more than the action, as the official synopsis reads “Joker is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.” The cinematography by Lawrence Sher has also kept the movie grounded and subtle by the looks of it.

4/5.


 

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