20 votes

Joker - Discussion Thread (Spoilers)

Tags: spoiler, joker

Seeing as there's no discussion post about this movie yet, and especially in the light of the hype (both positive and negative) I was curious to hear everyone's thoughts on the movie.

12 comments

  1. [3]
    figment
    Link
    Great acting, cinematography was beautiful, score really punched up the tension, unexpected funny moments, good twists. Yeah it drew from prior movies but it was great. Metal detectors and police...

    Great acting, cinematography was beautiful, score really punched up the tension, unexpected funny moments, good twists.

    Yeah it drew from prior movies but it was great. Metal detectors and police made it more than just a movie, a full experience 👌

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      Huh? Is this a thing for this movie? Is it a promotional gag?

      Metal detectors and police made it more than just a movie, a full experience

      Huh? Is this a thing for this movie? Is it a promotional gag?

      1 vote
  2. [4]
    JXM
    Link
    I didn’t like it that much. It felt like it was trying very hard to be a “smart” movie that had a lot to say. But it just felt hollow and pointless. There were parts that I enjoyed of Phoenix's...

    I didn’t like it that much. It felt like it was trying very hard to be a “smart” movie that had a lot to say. But it just felt hollow and pointless.

    There were parts that I enjoyed of Phoenix's performance but I then there were just shots that lingered on him for way too long because they thought long takes added gravitas or something.

    There was absolutely no reason for it to involve The Joker or Batman. It could have easily been done without that element.

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      somewaffles
      Link Parent
      I keep seeing this point made as a sleight against the film. Why does it matter that it involved those characters? It gave a neat aesthetic to the movie for people that enjoy that franchise. It...

      There was absolutely no reason for it to involve The Joker or Batman. It could have easily been done without that element.

      I keep seeing this point made as a sleight against the film. Why does it matter that it involved those characters? It gave a neat aesthetic to the movie for people that enjoy that franchise. It doesn't detract from the core movie what so ever.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        KapteinB
        Link Parent
        On the other hand, it gave me a nagging feeling throughout the film that none of this matters, because none of this is canon. And I realise that's silly, but I would have cared more about the...

        It gave a neat aesthetic to the movie for people that enjoy that franchise.

        On the other hand, it gave me a nagging feeling throughout the film that none of this matters, because none of this is canon. And I realise that's silly, but I would have cared more about the events in the film if it was in the Dark Knight continuity, or the DCCU continuity (which I believe is the same as the Suicide Squad continuity?), or even the comic books continuity.

        Objectively that doesn't affect whether it's a good or bad film, but it did affect my enjoyment of it.

        1. somewaffles
          Link Parent
          Yeah I completely agree with this, and can see your point. In my opinion if DCCU wants to realistically compete with MCU they would continue this more mature route instead trying to copy what...

          On the other hand, it gave me a nagging feeling throughout the film that none of this matters, because none of this is canon.

          Yeah I completely agree with this, and can see your point. In my opinion if DCCU wants to realistically compete with MCU they would continue this more mature route instead trying to copy what Marvel does with only slightly darker tones (which is pretty much what they are doing as far as I can tell.) Probably won't happen and I also have no idea what I'm talking about, but it would certainly get me out to the theater more to see their movies.

  3. [2]
    TurdFerguson
    Link
    Overall, I really enjoyed it. I was afraid Phoenix was going to be over the top and melodramatic, but he... was. And it was great and authentic. I didn't think any new ground was broken, per se -...

    Overall, I really enjoyed it. I was afraid Phoenix was going to be over the top and melodramatic, but he... was. And it was great and authentic.

    I didn't think any new ground was broken, per se - I think we all expected the plot to be almost exactly what it was. I did find myself, surprisingly, empathizing with Arthur even through the end when he finally gets the affirmation he so badly sought. Felt strange to empathize with a murderer like that. Also made me realize why incels associate with the Joker.

    I also was worried about their portrayal of mental illness, that he would be a caricature of all mental illness. I think they balanced this decently, but to some degree the Joker is inherently emblematic of "mental illness scary!" mentality.

    Anyway I woke up 15 minutes ago and haven't had coffee yet so sorry for the lack of depth. Just want to get the conversation going.

    6 votes
    1. CALICO
      Link Parent
      Largely my take; I thought it was brilliant. Not to retread to much on what others have said, this is something that stuck out. I really liked how the story tied Batman & Joker's origin together...

      Largely my take; I thought it was brilliant. Not to retread to much on what others have said, this is something that stuck out.

      I really liked how the story tied Batman & Joker's origin together through the systematic failures of the City of Gotham. It made them both kind of an emergent phenomenon of their environment. The trash problem and disinterested aristocratic wealthy riled up the public, and the penny pinching in mental health services set up Arthur for failure (who should have been taken from his adoptive mother by the City). Joker emerges from his environment as a destructive force, and that is directly responsible for Batman's origin. An immune response, if you will.
      I enjoyed that.

      6 votes
  4. deknalis
    Link
    I think the core of it, the failing of a city for one guy creating that city's reckoning, is compelling (though only because Phoenix is good and it's a comic book city that can be over the top and...

    I think the core of it, the failing of a city for one guy creating that city's reckoning, is compelling (though only because Phoenix is good and it's a comic book city that can be over the top and a little silly, there's still some really clunky dialogue and on the nose scenes), but anytime it tried to be an Important Movie it seemed kinda bad.
    It seems to pretend it's made commentary on the treatment of the downtrodden and the mentally ill, but it furthers the vilification of mental illness by using generic vague "crazy person" traits, and mocking a dwarf character through its framing. I get that Joker and Gary were supposed to be kindred spirits because of their ostracization and mockery from society at large, but Gary's plight is framed comedically too much for that to work imo. Could just be Phillips being used to directing comedy and therefore not fully being able to stage those moments dramatically.
    The rest of its themes seemed vague and contradictory. "Eat the rich, look how billionaires disregard those under them, Wayne threw away his own child for appearances." "Oh Arthur's mom is just crazy actually, Wayne was right to distance himself." Violent revolution is framed as a negative, the aristocratic high society is framed as a negative, and the guy calling for people to be nice is a violent killer (though also not fully accountanble for his actions because of being cut off from medication, muddling it all further). Empty framing of all sides as bad, polsturing as if there's a statement being made but without saying anything. The only thematic through line that seems to persist unmuddled is the idea of life as cruel absurdity, and therefore embracing of said absurdity being the only way to affect change or make sense of life. But I had to sit through an hour and a half of the movie pretending it would say something more meaningful than that, and it just seems like an excuse for empty escapism. Almost like a bad punchline, which is fitting I suppose.

    6 votes
  5. CrampedQuadrature
    Link
    I thought it was good. Nothing great, but nothing bad. A solid but not amazing character study. I found the film fairly neutral in it's presentation. It didn't seem to be pushing a social...

    I thought it was good. Nothing great, but nothing bad. A solid but not amazing character study. I found the film fairly neutral in it's presentation. It didn't seem to be pushing a social narrative, just telling its story.

    But I can see how people read onto this movie super hard what they want to see, especially all the hype. The critics reactions were so hyperbolic it was comical, and like a lot of films like that, you quickly realize that it's mostly projection of the various reviewers/watchers.

    I think it will be one of those movies that is quickly forgotten. Nobody will be talking about it next spring.

    3 votes
  6. ainar-g
    Link
    Holy “Battleship Potiomkin”, Batman! Just watched it. Lots of largely disjointed thoughts. I've heard about “dramedy”, but this is closer to “thrillady”. There are genuinely funny moments in this...

    Holy “Battleship Potiomkin”, Batman! Just watched it. Lots of largely disjointed thoughts.

    I've heard about “dramedy”, but this is closer to “thrillady”. There are genuinely funny moments in this film—including slapstick, of all things—as well as creepy ones, obviously. It was very surprising for me, as I thought they were going to go the pure drama route. I'm glad they didn't.

    Joker has a lot in common with The Dark Knight. Not only because they both feature the Joker, but also because they both nailed Gotham. If you ever looked at the DC canon and wondered, how the hell does Gotham has so many psychos, well, now you know. Because it's a literal shit-hole. And the people are angry. And the psychiatric hospitals are closed. You can really feel the cold rain, really smell the piss, so to say. Coincidentally, this is also one of the (many) things where “The Dark Knight Rises” failed miserably, in my opinion.

    The scene with all the clowns in the metro also kind of reminded me of the metro scene from “Spider-Man 2”, which I love. In that, in both scenes the people of the city come together to help the hero protagonist.

    I was kind of disappointed when Arthur seemed to get it going with the single mother, but then they revealed that “it was all a dream”, so I guess it's fine? I don't really understand the purpose of this whole arc though. It's almost as if they just needed some romantic-ish moments for the trailer. If they wanted to make this realisation look like it had really hurt him, they've done a bad job.

    Was the guy in the Wayne Manor supposed to be Alfred? I kept expecting little Bruce to say something like “Alfred, let's go!”, but he didn't. And before you ask, I watched it in Russian dub, so I don't know if he had an English accent :-/

    I also thought that they were going to go the “One Shitty Day” route, but it felt more like “One Shitty Life”, which is perfectly fine by me. I think that popular culture needs more stories of people who just plain have a shitty life, because that's closer to reality. Not the story you might want to hear in a good mood, but also a story that may help you realise that you're not alone when you feel shitty.

    What's up with the “Thomas Wayne is fascist” posters? Is that supposed to make fun of Trump supporters? Or the anti-Trump people? Seeing how Thomas Wayne seemed to be not-a-total-douchebag, it's really hard to tell. As if they wanted to say something related to the current US politics, they just weren't sure what.

    Overall, the film was positively surprising for me. Not in a shyamalaney way, but more generally. I liked that. I liked Joker. I feel like it is at least 85/100. A very solid film, but nothing groundbreaking.

    2 votes