‘Joker’ destroys expectations


Gregory Richardson, Reporter

“Joker” is a movie by DC studios and directed by Todd Phillips, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert DeNiro, Zazie Beetz and other notable actors. It follows Arthur Fleck, played by Phoenix, who is a struggling stand up comedian who lives among the lowest of the low and plays a clown as a way to make money. He lives with his mother who watches “The Murray Franklin Show,” a late night talk show starring Murray Franklin, played by DeNiro, who Arthur idolizes.

The movie is a psychological roller coaster that follows the ups and downs of Arthur’s psyche as his idolization takes on an obsessive note. The movie was pinned by the New York times as being “not interesting enough to argue about,” but this notion was immediately put down by an audience rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. This honor is well earned, as the twist and turns left me on the edge of my seat. You’ll never know what will happen next on the gritty streets of Gotham.

Joaquin put his all into his performance, basically starving himself in order to portray himself as a lower class individual with mental health problems. This is not the first time that his method acting prowess was put on display, in 20th Century Fox’s “Walk The Line” he played drug-washed folksinger Johnny cash, who he portrayed perfectly.

“Joker” is a phenomenal movie, with the only flaw the dragging of the plot hat happens at the end. It starts off sprinting and begins to limp to the finish line. While the length doesn’t ruin the experience, the controversy surrounding does cause people to doubt the movie.

The main controversy surrounding the movie involved the tragic event that occurred on July, 20 2012 at the Aurora Century 16 movie theater in Colorado, where James Holmes shot and killed 12 people, injuring 70.

Holmes believed that the shooting would have characterized him as the Joker, saying “It’d be like the Joker.” He idolized the Joker, much like Fleck idolized Franklin, and wanted to be like the comic book clown. Holmes was sentenced with 12 consecutive life sentences.

The shooting left a sour taste in mouths of people all over the country, leaving a lasting impact. So when the clown prince of crime hit theaters earlier this month, there were some skeptics. CNN posted a story saying that it could cause copycat killers across the country, leading to a repeat of the mass shooting and glorying the tragic event.

However to the surprise of the many, the movie turned out to be a box office hit. Earning $93.5 million in its opening weekend. As of Oct. 27 it has peaked at $277.9 million in the US alone hitting $852 million worldwide, becoming the highest grossing R-rated movie surpassing Deadpool 2 which came out just last year.