Specifically created as social commentary, focusing on mental illness in society that falls under the category of socially ignored, numerous characters in the scenario of Joker forget the adage of the 21st Century: If you see something, say something. The debate of dark themes is justified: every character in this movie is miserable. No one more so than Arthur Fleck, the protagonist in this scenario is ridiculed, ignored, lied to and physically abused. He lives in a world where nobody cares about anyone… and he wants to do something about it. A public display of how terrible the world is? Yep.
What will probably dominate movie reviews across the globe is the dark, depressing tone of the film where we watch Arthur, a stand-up comedian with a pathological laughing disorder, navigate his way through a society that chooses to alienate him for who he is. He is the only person who can witness the power of the public, equally frustrated by the excesses and provocations of the wealthy, who continue to cut funding on programs that help those who need assistance.
The only good part of the movie is the performance of Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of a part-time clown who longs to make people laugh in a world of gloom. The killing joke, as it turns out, is on him when a secret from his past (deliberately withheld from his mother) catches up to him and the truth is revealed. The film shines with brilliance and based on the fact that the movie ultimately became the water-cooler discussion of the week, debated by fanboys and criticized by movie reviewers, the screenwriters, actors, and director accomplished their part.
An origin story for The Joker pre-dating the birth of Batman? Warners and D.C. were bound to create such a movie but I wonder if they might consider creating a movie that is less cynical and more comical… after all, the character was based on a comic book.