Joker review



Zach Dulny, Critic

“Joker” is a 2019 drama/thriller that tries to tell a new story of an old villain. This movie is an intense adaptation of the famous Batman character, giving him a dark backstory that has never been seen before. This movie uses visual and psychological storytelling to give a difficult watching experience, showing how impactful the visual medium can be. I give this movie a 4.5/5 for its powerful story and amazing watching experience.

The movie is really hard to watch but in the best way possible. Through establishing props in the movie, we learn of the main character’s mental illness. This illness is a recurring plot device that just makes the viewer feel terrible for the main character. While watching you can feel the uncomfortable sadness caused by the mental condition of the main character. This movie does really well with establishing plot devices and using it well in the story.

This movie is intense. This movie is rated R for strong topics and visuals instead of just bad language. It is obvious why this movie is R-rated. It deals with heavy material to add to its deep story. There are moments in the final act that leave you speechless and even caused one of my friends to have to exit the building because of how intense it was. And these hard to deal with plot pieces are all motivated by the main character. From the beginning of the movie to the end, you see this man go through so much, slowly going insane. Until the ending, this main character really only does stuff in either self-defense or to someone who did something wrong to him. It isn’t until he’s finally lost himself that he starts doing things that aren’t fully motivated. 

The main character is amazing. He performed with such intensity that it hurts to see this character go through what they go through. You feel for this person and you want them to end up happy. But from the beginning, it’s obvious that this show will not end happily. This anti-hero does end happy, but he ends changed and scared for the rest of his life. And at the end of the movie you realize that this isn’t a movie about a man going crazy, it’s about a society going insane. 

Let’s talk about the ensemble. Joker’s “girlfriend” was one of the best twists I’ve ever seen in a movie. As soon as you realize it, everything just hurts for a second and adds so much to the movie. Joker’s mother also has a great scene with Joker at the beginning of the final act. It is unexpected and really makes you, feel. This movie will make you feel. The references to Batman are a nice touch especially with the Wayne family in the movie. The only bad characters are the rich people. They aren’t really human but that could be explained by the mental state of the main character. In all really the character are good and played well.

The soundtrack is interesting. The music starts with a more bouncy rag feeling and ends with a slow strings ensemble. It adds to the progression of the main character into insanity. It’s a good touch. 

The cinematography in the movie is interesting. In the more personal scenes, the camera work is handheld. It’s a weird touch, but is interesting. It feels kind of found footage like, giving a more realistic feeling. There are also some shots in the movie that are really good at showing the chaos within the movie. And the shots of the Joker dancing are strange and unusual in a good way. The cinematography isn’t anything special but is still good.

The only reason that this movie isn’t perfect is that it is really intense. It’s meant to be intense, and that needs to be stated. But really for high schoolers, it’s maybe a bit too much. This movie adds a lot to one of the most famous villains in comics, and it should be appreciated.

The topics discussed aren’t meant to be easy to understand. This movie shows off mental illness and death. 


 It’s hard to watch because it’s painful, but that’s good. 


Grade: A -(4.5/5)