There is something about a good physiological noir thriller to make you truly comprehend the pain and history of the origin story of either a villain or hero. I was discussing this subject with a good friend of mine the other night, in the comic world both villains and heroes tend to have dark origin stories. However, it\’s how those severe issues of pain and neglect are dealt with to place the individual on a distinguishing path. Think about it, you\’re a child, severely abused, neglected, undernourished and not valued never knowing any semblance of true love. Things could very possibility and will get distorted in that child\’s mind, as to what is acceptable and what is not. A good intention can turn into something very violent, very quickly if you are conditioned to feel yourself as a piece swamp scum resting on a body of water sharing its true ugliness with the world. The portrayal of Arthur Fleck aka the Joker by Joaquin Phoenix truly houses a grandiose air.
The manner in which Joaquin Phoenix became the Joker was a tale surrounded by fragility riddled with good intentions. I\’m not going to give away major plot details because, as much as I relish the concept of a spoiler — I do not feel it is a kind thing to do to my readers — especially if they\’ve not yet watched Joker. But I will say this, there is this one scene where the Joker\’s character is dancing while walking down a set of cement stairs. The manner in which he loses control reminded me of a specific scene — one of them from a movie that genuinely messed with my head. Ok, so he reminded me of Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now, where he is in front of the mirror and totally melted down surrounded by crimson blood. The uncertainty expressed in that scene reminded me of Arthur Fleck when he finally became the Joker and felt freedom in his own skin. It felt like simultaneous annoyance, anger and comfort.
Joker also places heavy emphasis with regards to mental illness and what being in an uncontrolled environment can do to someone\’s brain, who has the proclivity to darkness and causing harm to others — all that Arthur Fleck wanted was to make others laugh with his jokes. I know, many are going to argue with me, with regards to my next statement but, lines tend to be crossed when pain can no longer be endured. It\’s sad, I truly felt sorrow for Joker as the protagonist. He was a man who suffered tremendously and instead of being dealt with compassion he was faced with hate.
I feel that Joaquin Phoenix truly deserved the Golden Globe he received for this role, his acting with regards to the pseudobulbar affect, a disorder that causes laughing or crying during inappropriate situations was depicted with an authentic use of the acting craft he exhibited throughout Joker. I would keep an eye out come Oscar time for this one for sure.