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November 29, 2022

Cinema: Joker

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Directed by Todd Phillips and based on the DC Comics villain, Joker is a stand alone film that follows the dark descent of Arthur Fleck into the Joker. Arthur (Joaquin Phoenix) lives with his mother in Gotham City, working as a clown for a small hire-out business. With the idea in his head that he was put on the earth to spread joy and laughter, but struggling through a very obviously troubled life, Arthur seems to be just holding onto one thread of sanity. However, after funding for his social therapy is cut, that one last thread snaps and he loses all faith in the system, causing him to free fall into insanity. 

This snowballs after Arthur desperately tries to find out more about his father and his connection to the powerful Thomas Wayne. With Gotham City on the brink of collapse, as the city’s citizens feel like the rich are robbing them of their rights and opportunities – the Joker is born, and becomes the face of a city now home to criminals and the corrupt.

This film is not easy to watch. You often forget you’re watching a comic book film, and there are only a few reminders along the way. It questions the system, it questions mental health issues, it questions your moral compass. However, Joaquin Phoenix does a phenomenal job in capturing the poignant essence of all these issues.

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