The basic difference in the movie-making styles of Hollywood and Bollywood is that while Bollywood is adept in making an inspiring tale like that of Anand Kumar to a comical, nonsense trash like Super 30, Hollywood makes a once in a generation movie from a DC comic book character and adds a gem like Joker in its treasure trove. The movie right from the word go grips you, gets into you, grows within you, questions your own sanity and does not leave you hours or days after the end credits have rolled. Backed by a tight screenplay, this latest offering from the director Todd Phillips of the Hangover fame, this movie has a chilling undertone in each and every frame. Joker follows the basic theorems of movie-making. There are no unnecessary complications or ostensibly layered outlook, which makes this an edge of the seat thriller. The background score, especially in the transformation scenes, is scintillating. Many people have touted it as a tribute to the Scorsese style of film making. But to be true, barring the Departed, Scorsese never played it so simple in any of his movies. Joker in every sense is a path breaker. It won’t be an overstatement to say that Phillips has actually outshined another maverick filmmaker of this generation, the great Christopher Nolan in portraying the character of Joker, even though his movie on the same character has different premises.
A commentary on this great tale will be incomplete without talking about its protagonist Joaquin Phoenix as Joker. Legend says that he actually lived in the skin of this character for the last couple of years. His devotion, his sacrifice, his understanding of the character-everything is reflected in every single moment of this movie. This is something you don’t believe can exist. He is so normal in portraying an insane, abnormal, complex character like Joker that you start believing as if it’s happening for real. The pain the society inflicted on him, the fear of failure, and the depression of being a loser in life and finally liberating the inner pathos through his vendetta and seeking pleasure in bringing anarchy in the society- every emotion has been made visceral by the ace actor. If he does not get the Oscar for this, I think millions of movie lovers like me will lose faith in the credibility of the Academy Awards. Like Vivien Leigh of Gone With the Wind, Humphrey Bogart of Casablanca, Jack Nicholson of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Meryl Streep of Kramer Vs Kramer or Natalie Portman of Black Swan, Joaquin Phoenix will be remembered for the decades to come for his iconic portrayal of this iconoclastic character. P.S- Phoenix makes Joker so real, you may start loving the negative shades. The real movie starts after this movie ends on the silver screen. Get ready to face the Joker in you.
Written in October,2019. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.