Joker – A Movie Review

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By: Sarah Steffey | ssteffey3@radford.edu

The iconic arch-nemesis of Batman is portrayed in an insanely creepy way in the new film, Joker.

Played by Joaquin Phoenix, the Joker, or known in this film as Arthur Fleck, never did receive much backstory in other Batman films since the focus was, well … on Batman. This movie does just the opposite and focuses solely on the Joker.

The movie takes place in Gotham City in the 1980s and shows how the Joker came to be. It explains his background, how he grew up, and how he eventually becomes the supervillain we all know.

Fleck is a clown during the day and dreams of being a stand-up comic at night. During the turning point of the movie, Fleck makes one bad decision, which ultimately leads to more bad decisions.

The movie focuses mainly on the Joker’s psychological disorders. Phoenix does a fantastic job with the material he is given. He is able to portray the Joker as a creepy, horrifying, and disturbing person. 

The movie also stars Robert De Niro and Frances Conroy. Conroy plays Fleck’s mother, Penny. She has a pretty significant role and ends up throwing a curveball to Fleck and the audience towards the end. 

The acting in this movie was phenomenal, while the trailer was a little deceiving in how gruesome it would be. There were a few pretty gross parts, and several people in the theatre had to look away. Definitely pay attention to the fact that the movie is rated R.

Photo Credit: (Joker The Movie)

Obviously, the movie deals with a lot of clowns since that is what the Joker is. So, if you have a fear of clowns, do not see this movie. With the way that clowns have been viewed for the past couple of years, this movie comes at a time that a lot of viewers may see it as a lot more frightening than they may have a few years ago.

In the past, specifically in the 1980s, when the movie takes place, clowns were viewed as entertainment and funny characters. Now, they are seen as horrifying creatures that no one wants to be around.

There were also several parts of the movie where it got a little boring, especially at the beginning. Towards the middle, though, it starts to pick up and keep your attention pretty well.

If you are not a DC comic fanatic, you can still see this movie and understand it. Since it is the backstory of the Joker, it happens even before Batman is a thing, so you do not need any background information of the Batman series to enjoy this movie thoroughly.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie. I do think that a few parts were a little too gruesome, but they were portrayed well by the actors involved. I also would have liked for the beginning to have had a little bit more action or interesting scenes.

Be sure to check out other movie reviews on The Tartan; including The Peanut Butter Falcon and Good Boys.

Photo Credit: (Joker the Movie)

The Verdict
  • 8/10
    - 8/10
8/10

Creepy Clowns Just Got Creepier

Overall, I enjoyed this movie. I do think that a few parts were a little too gruesome, but they were portrayed well by the actors involved. I also would have liked for the beginning to have had a little bit more action or interesting scenes.

Sarah Steffey

My name is Sarah Steffey and I am from Rural Retreat, VA. I am 19 years old and will be graduating Radford University in the Spring of 2020 with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. I am a member of Alpha Phi Sigma and the AASIS club.