Joker Face

All it takes is a bad day, a bad day that you, as the viewer, experience with Arthur Fleck, the man destined to become the Joker. He has not chosen hid destiny, society has turned him into the epitome of chaotic evil. The Joker lives in a sick Gotham which is portraid by New York in the 80s and he dreams of a career in stand-up comedy all his life. He works in a miserable clown company, sharing a dirty apartmente with his mother Penny, who calles him happy. Happy is a strange name for a man who hasn’t known a day of happiness in his life, but for his mother, little Arthur was always cheerful. Penny doesn’t recognize one of Arthur’s mental disorders, which is his pathological laughter. The movie’s director, Todd Philips, demonstrates this expedient ly via Joker’s trade mark: the smile. This justification makes him more human than the Jokers previously described in comics. This portraid leads us to empathize with Arthur. The film, by Todd Philips and Joaquin Phoenix, chooses to show us the time frame which leads from Arthur to the transformation into the Joker. Or better: the breaking point where Arthur Fleck, a true outcast, always relegated to the margins of society, frees forever that sad clown who discovers the joy of being heinous. What distinguishes Arthur from a common man is a borderline syndrome which leads him to have serious psychic disorders, but at the same time giving him a key to understanding the reality that only crazy people can have. While witnessing the continuous injustices that Joker suffers only because he is unable to conform to society and to the collapse of all his certainties when he discovers that the only person who loves him (his mother) has lied to him all his life, you have no choice but to become the Joker with him. He brings to light all those politically incorrect aspects that everyone has, but that we choose to hide. As you recognize that you yourself live in a sick society like Fleck’s, you are also forced to recognize the same lack of assistance, and generalized frenetic psychosis that makes man forget what he can become if he reacts to the abandonment and injustice he sees everyday. Todd Philips chhoses cinematography that is costantly borderline between the surreal and the grotesque and full of humor noir; yet this remains the most realistic Joker to date. It’s a film said to be a contemporary tragedy, precisely because of its extraordinary human sensitivity and strong substratum of social denunciation. In the annals of history, it’s not difficult to find accusations against contemporary society, in today’s worlds, where a man can slip into the darkest recesses of psychotic delirium without any medical assistance, a fate avoidable by only the wealthiest classes. Despite the bloody foot prints he leaves behind rekindling the conscience of those who opposed the system, often in the wrong way, as in the case of the clown who killed Batman’s parents, no one, after seeing this movie, will look at the Joker in the same way ever again.


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