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Movie review: Joker

04 Oct 2019 / 09:27 H.

THIS movie will hit you hard emotionally and also leave you conflicted over how you feel about the title character, who is considered one of Batman’s biggest foes but also one of the most formidable villains in the entire comic-book universe.

There is nothing flashy about this movie initially.

The drab world that the man who will be Joker lives in is similar to any big city that is struggling economically, politically and socially.

From the moment we meet Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), we see how broken and damaged he is.

Arthur struggles from mental problems and, like so many others in Gotham, is largely ignored by society.

Eking out a living as a clown, having a strange condition that makes him laugh uncontrollably and being just awkward around people, Arthur is often the subject of stares and the target of bullies.

Living in a squalid apartment and trying to be a good son to his loopy mother Penny (Conroy), Arthur’s one source of comfort is watching late-night show host Murray Franklin (De Niro) and dreaming of being recognised for his own talents as a comedian.

After he is beaten up by some punks, Arthur is given a gun for his protection by one of his co-workers.

When he uses it to kill three bullies, there is an obvious change in Arthur.

The tipping point is when he is ridiculed by the man he most admires and finds out the truth about his past.

Phoenix performance is astounding as he makes Arthur someone we can relate to at some level but are scared of at the same time.

His eyes as well as facial expressions tell us more than words on many occasions throughout in the movie.

The Batman connection is there and done well enough not to distract us from the main character in this movie.

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