Joker ★★★½

TIFF 2019 Film #17: Gala Presentations (North American Premiere)

Todd Phillips’s origin story for Batman’s famous archenemy has already been called many things, from being a deranged film all about everything that can push a man too far to a dangerous film that would do more harm than good purely from the reputation of its lead character alone. Yet unlike most other comic book-based films of its era, it’s also unique on the count that it’s played at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion at the former. But given the sort of character that the Joker was known to be among moviegoers of all sorts and those who have closely followed the comics, it was always set to be difficult to try and explore how he had come to be for he was simply known to be a character that always enjoyed violence for the fun of it. Yet knowing that writer-director Todd Phillips never took any direct inspiration from the comics when crafting a story of how he had come to be, seeing how he would experiment around a character of this sort was set to be quite the ride – and it turns out rather worthwhile too.

The full review can be found on Cinema from the Spectrum.

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