It wasn’t hard- madness is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.The Joker, (The Dark Knight )
SPOILERS !!! SPOILERS !!! SPOILERS !!!
Now that you’ve moved past the Spoiler Warning, let’s answer the obvious. Why am I writing this ‘Joker’ rant with ‘The Dark Knight’ quotes ?
The answer is simple; over the years, we’ve seen so many Jokers on the Big Screen. What began with Jack Nicholson was taken to a different level by Heath Ledger and then this character sank in the depths of disgust in the hands of Jared Leto.
But, anyway… We get the Joaquin Phoenix starrer origin movie of the iconic DC villain 11 years after the iconic performance of Ledger. Now, Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro feels like a winning combination, but Snyder led DCEU has the worst track record a studio can have. And, the last time DC made a villain origin story by the name of Catwoman; even Halle Berry was unable to save that shit.
But Joker was something entirely different. Comics Fans already know there are more than one Origin Stories of the Joker, be it Alan Moore “A Killing Joke” or Ed Brubaker’s “The Man Who Laughs”; (which is a fitting sequel to Frank Miller’s “Batman : Year One). Joker is perhaps the most iconic comic villain of all time. The Clown Prince of Crime has helmed many names, Jack Napier in Tim Burton’s Batman or the Infamous Red Hood in The Killing Joke.
Here, Joker is Arthur Fleck. And we could understand the basic story of the movie from the trailer itself; a very common man, driven insane and violent by the society. But it’s the ‘how’ we are interested in. And I’ve heard rumors about how this is not a movie connected to the DC Universe; not to comic books… But while watching the movie, I realized that is not the case; I feel this is a movie which could be the prequel to both nolanverse and DCEU, while holding together a lot of comic storylines. And most importantly, I feel this pays the debt that is due to Heath Ledger for making The Joker immortal.
We all remember in the Dark Knight, Joker putting his head out of the window of a car to feel the wind on his face; in midst of the chaos he has caused. Here, when Arthur is arrested, he looks out the window of the police car and laughs. We expect to se him put his head out of the window, but that never happens, when the cop who’s driving the car accuses him of causing all this chaos, he replies;
“I know! Isn’t it Beautiful!”
Heath’s Joker told us Madness is Like Gravity, and Joaquin’s Joker made us realized how strong that gravitational pull is…
I saw Heath staring at me right there. The story borrows its elements from The Killing Joke, but replaces pregnant wife with ailing mother, also the iconic TV Interview scene from “The Dark Knight Returns” by Frank Miller. So, yes, this movie is based on real comic books, but Todd Philips took all his creative liberty to merge great Joker stuff into one movie, making it one of the most iconic comic book movie of all time.
And how can I stop without talking about the man of the hour, Mr. Joaquin Phoenix himself ? I’m no one to judge his acting prowess, but he deserves another Oscar this year. His physique, his mannerism his apparent mood shifts, and that maniacal laugh, it brings the Joker to life. And to be honest this kind of performance is something impossible to incorporate within a full-blown Batman movie. In that category, Heath is still the best “Joker within a Batman Movie”. But Phoenix did, what Leto couldn’t, he gave the Joker fans something they always wanted.
I smiled, when Arthur put his finger in his mouth and stretched his mouth into a bloody grin. And when, sitting in Arkham, he realized, people won’t understand his jokes. I smiled and realized; this is again a comic book reference (Mad Love by Paul Dano).
And last, but not the least. I love comic book movies. I hate Zack Snyder. I love serious films like Scorsese directed one’s but Marvel and DC movies belong to a different genre, it’s like comparing Apples and Oranges. So, I won’t go into that controversy. But, if Mr. Scorsese feels threatened by MCU, then he is not in his right mind. Although he should be. The Wolf of Wall Street succeeded because of DiCaprio. It was the weakest movie he’s ever made.
Can Marvel make a thought-provoking movie such as Joker,
-Yes, maybe… (In the Next 100 Years…)
Can Zack Snyder make ‘Dark’ movies? -Absolutely Not…
He is a Joke, that I didn’t get…
Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?
There is no Punchline…