Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, and Brett Cullen.
Arthur Fleck (Jaoquin Phoenix) is an aspiring standup comic who has a significant mental illness that causes him to laugh in inappropriate situations. His odd and unusual behavior leads to him being ostracized by almost everyone. He begins a downward spiral of madness and violet behavior.
Joker (Jaoquin Phoenix) lives with his mentally ill mother (Frances Conroy) and exhibits significant mental illness himself. He works for an entertainment company as a party clown. He is attacked several times by strangers because of his odd behavior. He ultimately gets fired from his job and his downward spiral accelerates. He goes on a crime spree and ultimately becomes an inmate at Arkham Asylum. At the end you are left wondering what was real and what was fantasy.
I HATED it! I could not wait for this movie to end BUT the acting was nothing short of AMAZING. I hated this movie because violent and unpredictable behavior in people with severe mental illness really freaks me out. It makes me feel uncomfortable and makes me feel really tense. This was two hours of stress, anxiety, and silent prayers that he wasn’t going to do what he ended up doing. Joaquin Pheonix was exceptional. He was terrifying. His connection and portrayal of someone with severe mental illness was shockingly real. He was able to portray severe mental illness without making it comical. Some actors in other movies were so exaggerated that it was not believable that was not the case in this movie. He took this character as far as he could go without going over the line.
This movie left a lot to ponder. Was it real or fantasy? You will go back in forth in which one you believe is correct. I ended up thinking part of it was probably real while some of it was likely fantasy.
Couldn’t be better. The perfect cast.
Just the right amount of background stories and in the correct place in the movie. You watch the Joker’s mental and physical transformation. It is so smooth you consciously do not realize it until he is dancing on the stairs as the Joker. This is the best scene in the movie.
Makeup was really good. The Joker’s clown makeup even changes as he progresses through his downward spiral. Starts off as messy and at the end it looks like the clown makeup we all know from prior Joker comic books and prior movies.
Should You Go See This Movie?
If you want to see some exceptional acting- YES. If you are looking for more of a lighthearted movie- Absolutely not.