Dating to relating book review
Somehow, this deep sympathy persists even as Arthur starts to cross unconscionable lines.
By the film’s charged, devilishly brilliant final act, you feel Fleck’s rage at the injustice of the world so overwhelmingly that while his actions can’t be justified, they’re clearly understood.
Crucially, where Jokers past have been defined by their humour and sadistic insanity, Arthur’s defining characteristic is that he’s mentally ill.
Phoenix engenders such powerful empathy for Fleck that some of the horrifying setbacks he faces, including a mental health care system that profoundly fails him, are genuinely upsetting.
Losing 52lbs for the part, Phoenix twists his skeletal frame into unsettling configurations, while he runs in a broadly comic way that looks like he has oversized shoes stuck to his soles at all times.
Some may feel a tinge of disappointment that Phoenix’s harlequin of hate isn’t the fully formed, gleefully cruel, criminal mastermind of the comics – this is an origin story, after all – but there are several distinctly Joker-esque sequences we won’t spoil here.
Going to deeper, darker and more disturbing places than any comic book movie to date, Joker isn’t just a captivating character study, it’s a superhero – or should that be supervillain? On multiple levels, it’s the most challenging, subversive and nihilistic comic book movie ever made.Finally, rightly or not, the iconic imagery of Pearl Harbor shows signs of becoming symbolically connected to that of September 11.Rosenberg concludes with an entirely appropriate prediction: Based on the successful manipulation of Pearl Harbor over the years, history and memory will continue to clash on other cultural battlefields, confronting Americans with multiple meanings of 9/11.Simply put, Gotham is a powder keg and the Joker is perfectly placed to light the fuse.It should come as little surprise that Phoenix is staggeringly good here.