Joker offers grim origin story for a classic villain

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Source: Warner Bros

Official poster for Warner's "The Joker".

DARCY MULLER and DYLAN ORLANDO

Todd Phillips’s Joker is on pace to become the world’s highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, and it deserves every penny. The film was intense and sporadic, leaving audiences on the edge of their seats at all times. It combines an intriguing plot with masterful cinematic elements and an exquisite performance by the film’s lead, Joaquin Phoenix. 

The film is an origin story for the comic book villain The Joker, yet it also has little connection or impact on the DC Cinematic Universe. In other words, this is a stand-alone film that will not impact the existing story of characters such as Batman, Superman, etc.. Although, it does set up the origin story for Batman. 

From the beginning of the film, it is evident that Arthur Fleck (Joker), does not fit in with the rest of society in Gotham City and when he isn’t being ignored, he is being ridiculed by others. Arthur Fleck’s life is filled with consecutive detriments and it seems as though he can never catch a break. Joaquin Phoenix executed the preexisting mental illness and the increasing madness that slowly descends Fleck into Joker in a cynical yet mesmerizing manner. Phoenix fills the role so well that even when the plot seems predictable, another gunshot rings out and an unsuspecting character is killed off. 

The film is rated R, so the gruesome deaths and vulgar language that comes with this rating contribute well to the intensity of the film. Arthur Fleck was molded by the cruelty of society, and every element of the film, from the color schemes to the dialogue, reflect how Fleck is turning this violence back on his oppressors. All in all, the film is set to shatter records and this unparalleled success cannot possibly be attributed to just one element.