Thursday, 10 October 2019

No. 88. (2019) Joker. October 7th.

Film No 88 (2019) Oct. 7th.  7:00 PM  EVENT CINEMAS Gold Class, Whitfords. 

"People expect you to behave as if you don't" (One of Joker's scribbled jottings in his often referred to notebook).

Todd Phillips has created a disturbing interpretation of The Joker's (Batman antagonist) back story. I say disturbing because while there is much hype about the film, the underlying theme, mental illness in modern society, is a serious theme indeed. The hype is aligned to the entertainment value of Joker but I found it far from a fun experience. Joaquin Pheonix, as Joker, in close-up for the main, occupies every scene as an unhinged loner carrying the weight of all the burdens society can heap on him. Dreams sequences take us on sub-plots that have us wondering whether we are in fact in real time. We soon learn that his fantasies and the unique mental condition (pseudobulbar effect) he endures, take him to the edge. So while the film gives Phillips' a platform to interpret the origins of one of Batman's antagonists, it is more an insight into an illness of the mind and how society's ambivalence to those who suffer may  mean we pays a price. There is so much more to Joker, and my interpretation may well be off the mark in the eyes of many. Maybe that is what makes Joker so brilliant, but I didn't like the way it made me feel. 10GUMS.


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