I went to see Joker at the cinema the other night, after not really seen any movies for a while, and frankly, it was worth the trip. The cinema was packed but everyone was pretty quiet throughout the whole movie. Understandably because Joker was a genuinely really good movie.
The plot was great. The acting was great. The music was great. The cinematography was outstanding, with some really amazing and beautiful shots. This is a well-crafted world, even if it is anachronistic at times, with believable characters and scenarios. You can see this horrible transformation from a hollow soul clinging on and just trying to make it and it all seems… plausible. This could happen to anyone, but it’s happening to this guy.
I’m going to be honest, I’m not even 100 words in to this article and I don’t really know what else to say, without really spoiling anything, or without stating what everyone else has already stated. It’s a good movie. No, it doesn’t glorify murder or mental health, the same way any other movie with murder and mental health issues don’t glorify those things. They’re plot points and things to think about, that not everyone in life has it easy and that one can snap in a heartbeat.
I’m not going to oversell it though. Joker is a great film to watch but it really does depend on the sort of movie one would like. If you’re the sort of person expecting a super hero movie, this isn’t for you. There’s no super anything in it. Joker is a dark, depressing movie where everything goes wrong and happiness exists only as brief blips, all for the wrong reasons. Really, if you’re expecting any moment of genuine joy in this movie, you’re going to be pretty upset when you realise said joy only comes from murder. This is not a kids’ film in any way.
But for me, the only thing I did genuinely dislike about the film was how it somewhat forcefully ties to the Wayne family. I don’t think Joker needed any Batman references at all, and including the Wayne family, even in small ways, gives the movie a crutch that it really doesn’t need. We don’t need this insanely obvious hint that there’s a Bruce Wayne in this universe, and you could have stuck any rich character in Thomas Wayne’s place and had the same effect. There are plenty of signs showing that this city is Gotham and it’s a shit show without throwing obvious sign posts at us. This is also made worse by the confirmation that this whole movie is a one-off.
That’s fine though. Joker doesn’t need any additions to it. Joker is a complete movie, you watch it from beginning to end and then you leave it there, letting your imagination fill in the gaps. There shouldn’t be a sequel or anything like that. I actually genuinely hope that a sequel never gets made to Joker because I think that would spoil the magic the Joker movie has.
I’m rambling on a bit. My point is, Joker is a good movie and if you want to watch something both beautiful and tragic, an old-style Greek comedy, then you should go and watch Joker. But don’t expect any miracles and feel free to wait until the cinemas are less crowded, because you can kinda guess what will happen and, weirdly, spoilers don’t affect you that much.