LukeBaxter2000’s review published on Letterboxd:
What a FILM..... Easily the best film of 2019 so far.
This will help evolve the comic book genre in every way. This doesn't even feel like a comic book film and more of a psychological crime thriller in the vain of Martin Scorsese. This film even is inspired by Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. This film even had the old Warner Bros. logo for films pre 1984.
The directing and cinematography by Todd Philips (director) and Lawrence Sher (cinematographer) is stunning. It all felt personal and intimate. The use of light and colour is superb.
Then there's Joaquin Phoenix, WOW...…. He deserves an Oscar nomination at minimum. He portrays Arthur Fleck so well in how he's messed up in the head because of mental illness and his descent into the Joker is well done. His laugh is the kind where I felt pain and it's a condition of his. Even when he imagined the woman played by Zazie Beets which we realise in flashbacks. He's easily the best Joker in film, more than Heath Ledger.
There's this one portion in the film that involves these 3 guys in a train with Arthur where he kills them. And afterwards, this killing is told in the news in a way that makes the 3 men look like they're great men even though they're really assholes. This bit is a commentary on how the media can twist facts.
There's of course the controversy about this film and how it apparently gives reasoning for violence, in particular gun violence. IT DOESN'T!!!!!! This is just a cautionary tale of what would happen if we kept mistreating people, especially those who aren't well mentally. And this was told from a mentally ill person's point of view. Anyway, the violence in this film was so uncomfortably real that it reminded me of Taxi Driver.
The score for the film is truly haunting in every sense of the word.
This is the kind of film that made me physically shake and wince at every scene because of how uncomfortable and embarrassing scenes were. And that last shot in the film is one of the most chilling shots I've seen in film.
This film I believe is warranted in today's society to warn us to be careful and think of our actions towards others.