Warner Bros. Entertainment released Joker this past weekend, and mover goers responded with a record-breaking October opening in theaters. Fans of the comic book series Batman found out the laugher behind the Joker character.
Director and writer Todd Phillips inserted several social issues in the Joker movie. Social issues like mental illness, domestic violence, child abuse, bullying, and government cuts. Phillips, along with writing partner Scott Silver did an excellent job telling the story behind the Joker. The Joker, although a ruthless villain, gains a level of sympathy and compassion in this movie with the underclass.
The movie takes the audience on a journey inside and outside the mind of the Joker. At times, what seemed
“There is always an evolution of a character you work on, but this was a drastic shift in the way that I approached a character and the way he behaves.”
– Joaquin Phoenix
Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is an adult male with a child-like quality looking for love and acceptance. Fleck is the caretaker of his mother (Frances Conroy). He’s teased and bullied, and although they start the story showing him as an adult, it implie that he suffered the same public shaming as a child. The bright spot in his life is love interest Sophie Dumond (Zazie Beetz). All Arthur Fleck wanted was to make people laugh. When his attempt to be a standup comedian made him the punch line, everything goes wrong.
Whether you are a comic book fan or not, the Joker is such a rich character base movie that’s worth watching. It’s evident that Phoenix lost an extreme amount of weight for the Joker role. His almost skeletal physique will give the audience pause. So, just how did Phoenix step on the movie set each day and deliver such a rich character? Phoenix admits there was no stop and ago preparation.
Director Todd Phillips was so adamant about Phoenix playing the role of the Joker that he wrote the script with a picture of Phoenix post at his desk. Director Todd Phillips had no one else in mind to play the Joker other than Joaquin Phoenix. Phillips went as far as keeping a picture of Phoenix posted on his computer during the year and a half he wrote the script for Joker. If Phoenix had said no, Phillips wasn’t sure who he would have picked. “I’ve always found that if you have a plan B, you will stick with plan B, so just stay with plan A,” says Phillips.