Joker, put a smile on that face

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Joker Banner (2019) for Spain

In summer of 2017, shortly before the premiere of "League of Justice", the world of cinema surprised us by breaking the news that Warner Bros. worked on a Joker movie outside the rest of the Extended DC Universe, which did not quite convince fans. A lot has rained since then, and finally "Joker" It has reached theaters, getting the interest of fans in recent months.

The moment of truth arrives, and therefore, from the Superhero Blog we want to dedicate a multicritic to address more points of view of this film that touches the author's cinema, being a very personal proposal of the director Todd Phillips and the protagonist Joaquin Phoenix about the villain's origin story.

The joke of a madman, by Adrià Medeiros

It has finally been released "Joker", the new film that Warner Bros. has produced with its DC properties and that this time they give us a Elseworld In all rules designed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix. In this version of the classic Batman villain we attend the study of the mind of Arthur Fleck, a tormented man who lives in a city on the verge of collapse.

Joker image (2019)

The great protagonist of this movie is, how could it be otherwise, Joaquin Phoenix with the huge interpretation which makes this new iteration of the prince of crime who has already had many faces on the big and small screen. The Puerto Rican actor gives us a formidable performance like Arthur, opening a door to the disturbed mind of this man who only wants life to smile at him.

With each of his gestures, his looks or his words, with special mention of his disturbing laughter and the use that the plot makes of it, Phoenix takes us from the first second of the film on a journey that culminates in its inevitable fall in Misfortune like the Joker, a tragic transformation that we cannot but admire thanks to the total delivery of the actor. While we know that Arthur is surrendering to his problems, Phoenix's great ability to understand his character and the concerns that torment him makes us understand him and, in a somewhat twisted way, we celebrate when he reaches happiness and liberation He craves so much, despite the bitterness of the situation.

The rest of the cast performs very well with their respective roles but they pale next to Phoenix. Only Robert De Niro and Brett Cullen have some presence in the plot and can play with this new Joker while the role of Zazie Beetz is a mere resource to further delve into the diseases that populate Fleck's mind.

However, and to all surprise, it was not seen coming in the film's advances, We have a Gotham City that follows an evolution parallel to that of our protagonist. Without hiding that it is New York aesthetically, we have a really deranged Gotham and on the verge of collapse, a breeding ground that allows the film to raise its main thesis on the origin of the Joker.

Joker image (2019)But while Phoenix has proven to be a spectacular Joker, Todd Phillips' task in the direction should not be left behind. With a perfect sense of the heir irony of his experience in humor films, the filmmaker faces a Joker movie in the only possible way: as a tragicomedy. Thus, the cruel story of Arthur's life is accompanied by an acid humor both in the assembly (the introduction of the initial credits or the final curtain) and in certain scenes that oscillate between terror and comedy. Phillips also achieves a great result in the visual, where the colors and the composition of scenes given by the director of photography Lawrence Sher become a fundamental piece of the story, merging with the story and achieving a large number of visual metaphors, being the clearer example of the stairs.

We must not understand, however, that it is a perfect movie. Although at an artistic and formal level it is rich in nuances, its plot is quite linear and, except for a couple of surprising moments that play with the ambiguity of the Joker, we know what will happen in each moment because it is a history of origins. In addition, in his final section he plays in the fine line of crushing the audience with his message explicitly or continuing to show it visually.

The last piece of this puzzle puts it the soundtrack of Hildur Guðnadóttir. Its original composition is nourished by serious tones, wind instruments and strident sounds to give voice to this new Joker also in the auditory, an authentic sensory experience that magnifies each scene. I must also comment on the use made of songs of popular culture and that play in that ironic tone that Phillips prints to the work, there is one that, at least after this first viewing, has not finished fitting with the scene (more taking into account the wonder that Guðnadóttir has created) but nothing you can get out of the movie.

It is difficult to rename all the details of "Joker" in this post, it surely deserves more than one viewing to capture the proposal of Phillips and his ins and outs, but we are facing a great film that has an immense protagonist who is raised even more by a fine address, orA magnificent photograph and a creepy soundtrack. An experience that deserves to be lived on the big screen.

A spooky psychological journey, by Aisling Clarke

From its very announcement, this Joker movie raised different types of opinions, from those who loved the actor who had been chosen as those who hated the characterization of the Joker for seeing him more as a clown than his comics counterpart. However, and with the passage of time, the film drew even more attention and its trailers stood out for their overwhelming personality, which it ended in great expectation on the part of most of the character's fans and those who had never stepped on a movie with characters that come from the comics. Has Joker fulfilled his purpose of giving us an unforgettable and almost cult film? In my opinion, we could say yes.

As is well known to readers of DC comics, The Joker is not a character that has a clear and defined origin, since this has had multiple versions, such as the one we can see in "The murderous joke", "Batman Confidential, no. 7 ”(2006) and“ Detective Comics, no. 168 ”. Therefore, it is not surprising that in both animated series and in the cinema we have had different versions about its enigmatic origin. On this occasion, Todd Phillips opts to tell us about the fall of the failed comedian Arthur Fleck, who because of his mental illness and the hard setbacks of life, ends up falling into a pit so dark that he could only leave becoming the clown of crime , the Joker. With that said, we will proceed to comment on the tape accordingly.

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Joker image (2019)

Joker's plot is really raw and painful at times, but just as amazing and wonderful From beginning to end by how a character so broken that he finds happiness in comedy ends up finding his joy in the very chaos. Although in a way the movie serves as a fantastic criticism of society for its selfishness and its mistreatment of people with mental illness, One of the gray points he has is the victimization he makes on the figure of the Joker when everyone is responsible for their own actions and there is always the option of being better than others, even with the difficulties we carry in our backpacks - although it is true that sometimes they remind us that the character needs his medication to be stable. And, speaking of the problems, one of the resources best used in this film is the use of the endless stairs that lead to the street of the protagonist. Some stairs that Arthur does not support, but that he uses every day with the hope of arriving at his refuge in the home until, once he is released from what prohibits him, he enjoys every step he takes and the dance on them reveals how that Difficulty is nothing for him, being able to compare those stairs to how Arthur sees society, something exhausting, cold, endless and that does not provide any help. On the other hand, and although the character characterized as Joker only appears in the final stretch, the tape it does not disappoint and it is a constant display of extraordinary scenes where each and every one of them contribute their grain of sand in the destruction of Arthur's unstable mind and that the spectator feels how the character is nowhere to fall into the darkest abyss.

As for the characters, we could say without mistake that Arthur Fleck is the absolute protagonist of the film while the others acquire a mere anecdotal role as secondary that help to move the plot and giving a vision of what they contribute to the character, having characters like Mother Penny Fleck, comedian Murray, the neighbor, and Mr. Fleck's co-workers - although there are more surprises. From the first minute, the director gives us a vision of Arthur Fleck as an upset character who tries to be happy and good with those around him, but his disorder and the people he ends up encountering do no good, either to make fun of him, assault him or deny him the help he needs so much and has been cut. Due to all this, Arthur is acquiring more compulsive behaviors as he suffers fateful encounters that makes him change his vision of life for one more typical of the character he represents until the time comes when there is no turning back and who was known a Once as Arthur Fleck he is now known as Joker, the one who opposes society and sees "comedy" where many see "tragedy." Without a doubt, and for my part, I have seen the Joker of the comics in more than a couple of scenes, although it is key to say that we are facing an adaptation and something “different” to what we are used to by his approach, so We recommend analyzing this Joker with an open mind.

Joker image (2019)

Now, it is worth mentioning that each and every one of the characters would not have gotten so much if it were not for the incredible choice of cast that has been chosen, from the mythical Joaquin Phoenix, Robert de Niro, Frances Conroy and others that we cannot mention in order to keep you certain surprises. However, among all those who could contribute their grain of sand to the realization of this tape, Who takes the gold brooch is Joaquin Phoenix for his brilliant, chilling and round performance that is capable of provoking multiple emotions in the spectator and that he succeeds in creating his role entirely. So far, many actors have played the clown of crime, from Jack Nicholson and Jared Leto to the unforgettable Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight" and it was the latter who really managed to captivate men and women alike. Until now it seemed impossible to see a performance better than Heath Ledger and this month Joaquin Phoenix has shown that you can always aspire and achieve a better version of what we already knew - Although much of the merit is due to the fact that the film focuses on its origin and its psyche. If the scenes that we have seen of the actor in the last trailers already impressed us, those that have been saved are even more creepy and amazing to the point of leaving the viewer speechless and generating a lump in the throat - those who have already seen it You know what scenes we mean.

On the other hand, the movie Do not avoid leaving us great references that will recognize both fans of comics and those who have followed the adventures of Batman in the city of Gotham. Without going into spoilers, we can only say that, if you are attentive, you will be able to contemplate mythical locations, important names and then already well-known figures that will end up interacting with the Joker without realizing who they have in front of them. Although it is true that it would have been desired that another appearance or much more ambitious reference, being an independent film does not need it and what it offers does so in such a way that it leaves the viewer who takes into account the context of the headband.

Speaking of technical details, visually, the film enjoys a scenery and brutal photography that it does not need in almost any case the use of the CGI to stand out, with very natural and even overwhelming scenarios. However, it would be a sacrilege not to highlight or mention the amazing soundtrack which “Joker” shows, because Hildur Guðnadóttir makes the atmosphere that gets the direction and photography become even more oppressive, thanks to how it accompanies each of the small steps that are taken until the character wakes up from his lethargy called Arthur Fleck to be the Joker. The scene of the stairs, the chaos in the city, the anxious moments of Arthur ... they all leave us some melodies to remember. Undoubtedly, Hildur has been the best option that Warner could shuffle and thanks to it becomes more absorbent.

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In short, I think we are facing a film that will mark history in the genre by how Todd Phillips has approached one of the most complex characters in comic book history in the most cruel and terrifying way possible.

A magnificent and introspective reinterpretation of the character that is enshrined as a fantastic union between cinema and comic, by Diego Iván Vera

Joker image (2019)

In 2008, the interpretation of the late actor Heath Ledger he took the movie world astonished with his successful reinvention of the Joker to "The dark knight" from Christopher Nolan redefining the iconic character for a new generation of spectators. A decade later and in the middle of the time when movies based on comics and superheroes are more present than ever in popular culture, the character returns to demonstrate why this chaotic villain will always have the last and best laugh.

Giving her nostalgic touches that make her look like a classic movie from the late seventies "Joker" It is an outstanding product thanks to the director's daring proposal Todd Phillips known for his comedy trilogy "The Hangover ” togiving full turn to the usual film genre that directs, Phillips offers a Grim and introspective story of the protagonist, open to ambiguity and with dyes of social commentary.

Committed body and soul with the character the actor Joaquin Phoenix interprets Arthur Fleck, a sad man who can't stop laughing because of a mental illness he suffers, hit by a dirty and crude version of Gotham City, here it will not only be "a bad day" as the graphic novel says “The Killing Joke” but a lifetime of apathy, corruption and greed of the chaotic city in which resides what will detonate his path to villainy.

Although apparently similar to the Heath Ledger Joker version, the Phoenix version is distinguished by showing us a more empathetic side of the character that as a series of tragedies and personal disappointments occur, this will feed his wildest and darkest side, giving free rein to the terrifying criminal.

For "Joker ” director Todd Philips drinks film elements from the late seventies and early eighties of the renowned filmmaker Martin Scorsese whose tapes “Taxi Driver” Y “The King of Comedy” they function primarily as plot, visual and interpretive inspirationOne of these elements is the decadent Gotham City, which refers a lot to the chaotic New York portrayed in Scorcese's films.

Joker image (2019)

Arthur Fleck will acquire characteristics of the protagonists of the works of Scorcese as is the empowerment of Travis Bickle from “Taxi Driver” as he unleashes his violent criminal acts as well as the diffuse line between reality and the mind of Rupert Pupkin from “The King of Comedy” Attached to this we have subtle winks to the mythology and history of the Joker within the universe of comics that although they are in the background show that this film does not deny the roots from which its original character comes.

The brilliant performance Joaquin Phoenix is ​​the heart and soul of the film, the masterful actor Print moments of empathy Arthur Fleck who over low heat and with every misfortune that happens will complete his metamorphosis in the relentless Joker.

The film has the efficient performances of Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy Y Brett Cullen in the roles of Murray Franklin, Sophie Dumond, Penny Fleck and Thomas Wayne respectively but being Phoenix the absolute protagonist These characters go to the background and be mere accessories for the plot.

Joker final trailer capture (2019)

In the technical section there is a remarkable manufacturing: the setting of a chaotic and realistic Gotham City located in the past is almost perfect. He soundtrack in charge of Hildur Guðnadóttir, Icelandic composer is both dramatic and sad. The musical selection of songs that are heard using themes from Frank Sinatra until Gary Glitter Throughout the film they are very consistent with the topics covered within it. The direction of Phillips is efficient since it manages to get you hooked from the first minute of the film and you are interested in what happens on the screen at every moment although still far enough away to name the master film or give it the status of masterpiece.

The violence displayed in the film occurs at the behest, it has scenes with blood although nothing excessively gore neither transgressor, although it is appropriate to justify its classification for an adult audience.

The movie is designed to be attractive to a sector of the public that is not particularly interested in movies based on comic characters or superheroesThe proof of this is to have a beast of acting as Joaquin Phoenix is ​​in the lead role, in addition to reconciling moviegoers whose golden and unattainable standard of the superheroic celluloid is still Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and they don't find the same quality and significance in other products.

Joker image (2019)

Todd Phillips compared the comics with the works of writer William Shakespeare some time ago since they are subject to different interpretations in different media throughout different periods. Despite looking away from any kind of continuity or timeline like non-canonical stories Elseworlds of DC comics follow persisting those common characteristics that make up the essence of these protagonists characters modern myths, the approach that Phillips uses to "Joker" It is a clear example of this.

"Joker" it's an excellent movie, that breaks the mold of conventions in the field of comic-based films, this being a common feature that has allowed proposals such as "Logan" and "Spider-man: Into The Spider-verse" gain recognition of criticism as well as be deserving of several awards.

The film of the famous villain joins this trend that exemplifies the artistic potential that these films have inside stories that move away from the fantasy show and decide to take a gray and dramatic narrative that transcends their own and often underestimated subgenre.

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