Movie Review: Joker

A dark, depressing, and scarily real fillm

Raven Ryan

This movie contains drug use, swearing, triggering mental health issues, and mentions of abuse. Viewer discretion is advised.

Psychology is one of the many interesting topics that I can find myself being caught up in. I want to understand why people can be so inexplicably terrible with no remorse. This film more than fulfilled my desire to study the why. 

In the DC world, Joker himself has no backstory. He is a villain whose only goal is to make Batman’s job harder. With no rhyme or reason, he is the Clown Prince of Crime. So, watching this movie only made me enjoy Joker more. Not only was the film was so intricately made, but what it showed wasn’t the rise of a single Joker. It was the rise of a movement. 

Joker follows a man who goes by the name of Arthur. He shows signs of sociopathy such as lack of empathy, risky behavior, and having difficult relationships with his co-workers as well as others around him. He’s treated almost equivalent to a child by his friends and family, and it hits harder when people use Arthur’s shutting down method to beat him up physically and mentally. Arthur knows something must be wrong with him, especially since he has a condition that makes him laugh uncontrollably during stressful moments of his life. It’s safe to say he has it rough, and it definitely takes a toll on him.

The creators of the film execute mental illness perfectly without romanticizing it. What he has isn’t fun or easy to live with, and Arthur has tried his hardest to live with it. It’s only when Arthur snaps that you realize how much he truly is being pushed past his breaking point. 

The score for this film goes beyond words. My personal favorite of the entire film was definitely “Bathroom Dance” by Icelandic musician Hildur Guðnadóttir. The cello and choral backup really fit the anguish and slow burn of hatred building up inside Arthur as the movie progressed. I also really enjoyed the upbeat, contrasting song “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra that would continuously play with slow-motion imagery on the screen. Oldies music with dark imagery is very common, but instead of just carrying the sinister vibe that comes with this style, it carried the insanity of Arthur that pulled him closer and closer to becoming the Joker.

This film was more than a heavy, dark type of film. This was a cruel and quite realistic view of Joker. This Joker contrasted greatly with the modern Joker from Suicide Squad, which, in my opinion, was a sad excuse for a Joker. Suicide Squad Joker was the more materialistic, flashy kind of Joker that favored money. Arthur in Joker stood as the insane, extremely unstable side of Joker, which is much more like the Joker I grew up knowing.

Joker was, to say the least, a masterpiece that shines above most films I’ve watched. I love dark, depressing, scarily real films, and this film blew me away with all three parts. I, without hesitation, give this movie a 5/5 star rating. If you enjoy very heavy topics and theories of Joker’s past, this most definitely deserves a view from you.