Here’s the deal. There have been a parade of actors who have portrayed Batman’s arch nemesis, the Joker and gave their own personal spin to the role. Some gave gone the comedic route, some more intense, but this just means we are re-introduced to this polarizing character over and over again.
Yet each time, we grow increasingly more fascinated with the Joker, a psychotic criminal mastermind who hides himself behind the persona of a jokester and whose ultimate goal is to take over Gotham City and end Batman once and for all. This character knows how to pull all the stops to rid himself of his enemy and his single minded drive has been sidetracked as of late because of DCEU’s experimentation on the perfect superhero formula. This movie seemingly aims to get the character back on the antihero track.
The final trailer of Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix, promises to be one of the most in depth anti hero origins portrayed on screen. It had an ominous vibe to it as it laid out Joker’s backstory, and his progression in becoming the top criminal in Gotham. Using a city inspired by New York as a backdrop, and accompanied by slow and methodical piano music, the trailer emphasizes Arthur Fleck’s delicate frame of mind and his eventual unraveling.
Joaquin Phoenix obviously dug deep to understand the character. And the trailer did his hard work justice in showcasing the nuances that he lent to the role. He did not overly emote. He showed intensity but it was his small and natural delivery that made him seem like a real and relateable person, going through the realities of life, being outcast and later being celebrated as he finds his footing in the crime ring.
Joaquin Phoenix lost a lot of weight for this role and his gauche appearance contributed to the air of seriousness of the film. Aesthetically, I am completely on board this film. Tonally, I am impressed beyond words.
I liked that director Todd Phillips is choosing to go the serious and dramatic route for this Joker movie to underscore what his mythology means to the legend of Batman. A superhero, after all, is just as good as his supervillain.
I have a feeling though that this film will find a good balance between entertainment and dramatics unlike Zac Snyder’s Man of Steel. Please let me be right.