Review: Joker deservedly takes over the box office despite R rating


Blanca Cantu, Opinion Editor

The Joker was one of those movies that did not appear to have much meaning to it; the basis of its plot is a sad man who decides one day that he is tired of his life and starts violently killing people. Its appearance and true plot line didn’t differ much.
However, it is a bit of a stretch to say this movie could incite violence in others. The Joker has always been a character many boys use to justify their violent and/or abusive personality or actions, but the movie did a decent job at not trying to make his back story seem like a big pity party. Yes, it can easily be twisted into that; but every time the movie began showing some tragic event it would eventually switch to him brutally murdering someone.
By doing that the audience was reminded that his character is not meant to be deserving of one’s pity. Ever since his arrival in the comics, he has been known to be a violent and terrifying villain. Not one to look at and cry about how bad their life has been. Many heroes have tragic pasts but never became crazed killers.
Also, the movie did seem to constantly be at war with itself by not knowing whether or not it should be political. One thing that was constantly touched on was the class divide within Gotham; the elite higher class citizens lived their lives off those below them and saw them as people they could hurt without any consequences. Of course, the Joker happens to kill a few of these high-class citizens and it leads to the lower class rioting as change is demanded in Gotham.
The Joker says in the movie that what he did was not political. He simply wanted to do it. Now, did what was shown in the movie in terms of class divide be something that could be related to the world today? Well, yes. However, the character has always been one who likes to incite chaos and doesn’t care for the well-being of others.
Now, all interpretations aside, when it comes to the directing Todd Phillips really nailed it; the entire movie flowed beautifully and every brutal scene had you sinking back in your chair from its intensity. Of course the other reason this happened was because of Joaquin Phoenix’s superb acting. Heath Ledger will always be the one I believe set the bar for how this character should be portrayed, but Phoenix managed to take the role and be original while still capturing how terrifying this character can be just like Ledger.
Hopefully the movie’s success, along with others such as Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Shazam, has allowed Warner Brothers to see how much potential their characters have when they allow themselves to take risks and not bother to follow more mainstream superhero formats like Marvel. Though this movie is not supposed to be connected to other DC films, Warner Brother will hopefully realize how much they can capitalize on their characters and decide to grow more of the universe from this movie.