Movie review: A new look for the Joker

DeVoncye Freelon

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Joaquin Phoenix in his split personalities as “the Joker” and “Arthur Fleck” – A misunderstood man and a crazed maniac.

“I used to think my life was a tragedy, but now I realize it’s a comedy,”- Joker

Back to the shallow, dark city that consists of secrets, black magic, secret societies and home to the infamous “Joker”. Released Oct. 4, Joker broke box-office records on opening weekend worldwide earning $258.1 million.

Despite heightened anticipation for its release, Joaquin Phoenix did not disappoint. There were high standards for Phoenix to match the gritty performances of Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson and Mark Hamill in the previous Joker installments. There is no way to rank them because, the performances from all of the movies have been individually great in their own unique way.

The movie starting depressing as ever, with the slums of Gotham City being shown with rampant animals, in piles of putrid garbage and the washed up Joker in front of a mirror painting his face in his usual get-up. He then stares at himself for a few moments, pulling the corners of his mouth into a wide-smile that reached his ears. Doing so a small tear rolls down the face of, Arthur Fleck. Arthur is considered a “freak”, growing up with his fair share of beatings, mockings and constant abuse.

Phoenix is astonishing. Phoenix inhabits the soul of Joker, the way he speaks, eats, walks and smokes has such an intriguing intensity. The cinematography by Lawrence Sher captured the uncontrollable angles and scenes that truly were emotional and able to tug on heartstrings. When going to see the movie do not expect to see the “comic book” display of the Joker. This film is Arthur. It is separate from the comic books as well as the DC Universe, an independent piece of work that can truly stand on its own.