Joker (Spoilers)

Just got out of the theatre. Great performance by Phoenix. Lots of great homages to Heath ledgers Joker. He still owns the role. But anyone who thinks this movie makes you feel bad for joker gets a huge surprise and he’s definitely not a likeable character or misunderstood.
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Comments

  • The soundtrack is also surprising but really good
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Beware Sondheim-singing bullies! The best kind of bully you might say, but quite indistinguishable!

    I liked this okay. Worth watching, worth the price of the ticket. It feels like a warm-up for Watchmen though. I just started the BM cast...


    HatorianOpusWho
  • What is Sondheim-singing bullies? I can look online obviously but interested to hear what it is from you without knowing it. 
  • Gonna have to digest this one for a while. But I thought it was extremely intense —in a good way and bad —and with excellent acting from everyone. 
  • Listening to the cast now. I think the guys make a good point about this line of empathy. But I would say that the backlash this movie has received about said empathy ends about halfway through the movie. When he murders his mom that completely ends any argument that this movie is trying to make you feel bad for him. 
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    Hatorian said:
    What is Sondheim-singing bullies? I can look online obviously but interested to hear what it is from you without knowing it. 
    The guys he killed on the train. That one dude was singing Send In The Clowns which is a song by musical theatre genius Stephen Sondheim lol.
    HatorianJaimieT
  • amyja89 said:
    Hatorian said:
    What is Sondheim-singing bullies? I can look online obviously but interested to hear what it is from you without knowing it. 
    The guys he killed on the train. That one dude was singing Send In The Clowns which is a song by musical theatre genius Stephen Sondheim lol.
    Hahah I thought it was like some disorder or something. 
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    I liked it overall, although some of the script felt pretty weak for a film that was taking itself so seriously. Phoenix was great just like everyone thought he would be, but strip away the nostalgia of the Joker as an iconic character and it’s a story that we’ve seen in cinema before. Taxi Driver with makeup, complete with Robert De Niro and hand to head gun charades, I can’t imagine that little touch was coincidental. It almost feels like the movie was embarrassed about its comic book connections, all of the Wayne connections were the most awkward points of the story for me, it was much stronger when just relying on the strength of Phoenix’s performance.

    Also, was the revelation of the neighbour relationship not being real an actual shock twist for anyone? I feel like it was played for that kind of reaction but no one in their right mind would think any interaction between them after the very first elevator scene was real.
    JaimieTtonyp1222
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Hatorian said:
    amyja89 said:
    Hatorian said:
    What is Sondheim-singing bullies? I can look online obviously but interested to hear what it is from you without knowing it. 
    The guys he killed on the train. That one dude was singing Send In The Clowns which is a song by musical theatre genius Stephen Sondheim lol.
    Hahah I thought it was like some disorder or something. 

    That part just broke reality for me, because I memorize Sondheim lyrics (some are hard!) and I don't even know Send In the Clowns yet, lol. Such a nitpick, of course. 
    Hatorian
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    JaimieT said:
    Hatorian said:
    amyja89 said:
    Hatorian said:
    What is Sondheim-singing bullies? I can look online obviously but interested to hear what it is from you without knowing it. 
    The guys he killed on the train. That one dude was singing Send In The Clowns which is a song by musical theatre genius Stephen Sondheim lol.
    Hahah I thought it was like some disorder or something. 

    That part just broke reality for me, because I memorize Sondheim lyrics (some are hard!) and I don't even know Send In the Clowns yet, lol. Such a nitpick, of course. 
    Exactly the same for me. What young straight Wall Street bro would know Sondheim word for word? Lol
    JaimieTtonyp1222
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    amyja89 said:
    I liked it overall, although some of the script felt pretty weak for a film that was taking itself so seriously. Phoenix was great just like everyone thought he would be, but strip away the nostalgia of the Joker as an iconic character and it’s a story that we’ve seen in cinema before. Taxi Driver with makeup, complete with Robert De Niro and hand to head gun charades, I can’t imagine that little touch was coincidental. It almost feels like the movie was embarrassed about its comic book connections, all of the Wayne connections were the most awkward points of the story for me, it was much stronger when just relying on the strength of Phoenix’s performance.

    Also, was the revelation of the neighbour relationship not being real an actual shock twist for anyone? I feel like it was played for that kind of reaction but no one in their right mind would think any interaction between them after the very first elevator scene was real.

    I think men would be more likely to find the reveal shocking, perhaps? (Emphasis on "more likely" and "perhaps.") Women are often written that way. I found the romance disproportionately fake in a movie striving for reality, but some of that relies on my history with harassment and feeling out how I would never respond that way. 
    amyja89Kela15
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited October 5
    amyja89 said:
    JaimieT said:
    Hatorian said:
    amyja89 said:
    Hatorian said:
    What is Sondheim-singing bullies? I can look online obviously but interested to hear what it is from you without knowing it. 
    The guys he killed on the train. That one dude was singing Send In The Clowns which is a song by musical theatre genius Stephen Sondheim lol.
    Hahah I thought it was like some disorder or something. 

    That part just broke reality for me, because I memorize Sondheim lyrics (some are hard!) and I don't even know Send In the Clowns yet, lol. Such a nitpick, of course. 
    Exactly the same for me. What young straight Wall Street bro would know Sondheim word for word? Lol

    I was okay with him knowing 1 verse, but he went into verse 2... God damn son...

    Maybe Arthur was imagining it, but I'd argue that moment really needed to be going for absolute reality since it prompts the largest development.
    amyja89
  • JaimieT said:
    amyja89 said:
    JaimieT said:
    Hatorian said:
    amyja89 said:
    Hatorian said:
    What is Sondheim-singing bullies? I can look online obviously but interested to hear what it is from you without knowing it. 
    The guys he killed on the train. That one dude was singing Send In The Clowns which is a song by musical theatre genius Stephen Sondheim lol.
    Hahah I thought it was like some disorder or something. 

    That part just broke reality for me, because I memorize Sondheim lyrics (some are hard!) and I don't even know Send In the Clowns yet, lol. Such a nitpick, of course. 
    Exactly the same for me. What young straight Wall Street bro would know Sondheim word for word? Lol

    I was okay with him knowing 1 verse, but he went into verse 2... God damn son...

    Maybe Arthur was imagining it, but I'd argue that moment really needed to be going for absolute reality since it prompts the largest development.
    Now that you mention it...they went through tremendous length to have no real celebrities...Justin Theroux playing an actor on the talk show...so why the real Sondheim tune. Good call. Really enjoyed the movie...lots of Atlanta/Leftovers crossover. King Of Comedy is a great movie. One question...did he kill his neighbor? I think so because he killed everyone else but it doesnt have clear evidence like blood footprints.I know J & A think he did...
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    OpusWho said:
    JaimieT said:
    amyja89 said:
    JaimieT said:
    Hatorian said:
    amyja89 said:
    Hatorian said:
    What is Sondheim-singing bullies? I can look online obviously but interested to hear what it is from you without knowing it. 
    The guys he killed on the train. That one dude was singing Send In The Clowns which is a song by musical theatre genius Stephen Sondheim lol.
    Hahah I thought it was like some disorder or something. 

    That part just broke reality for me, because I memorize Sondheim lyrics (some are hard!) and I don't even know Send In the Clowns yet, lol. Such a nitpick, of course. 
    Exactly the same for me. What young straight Wall Street bro would know Sondheim word for word? Lol

    I was okay with him knowing 1 verse, but he went into verse 2... God damn son...

    Maybe Arthur was imagining it, but I'd argue that moment really needed to be going for absolute reality since it prompts the largest development.
    Now that you mention it...they went through tremendous length to have no real celebrities...Justin Theroux playing an actor on the talk show...so why the real Sondheim tune. Good call. Really enjoyed the movie...lots of Atlanta/Leftovers crossover. King Of Comedy is a great movie. One question...did he kill his neighbor? I think so because he killed everyone else but it doesnt have clear evidence like blood footprints.I know J & A think he did...

    The neighbor scene comes right after he discovers his mother is a shitty mother.

    Argument that he killed his neighbor: She was expressing that she disliked her life while mothering (hand gun to the head).

    Argument against him having killed his neighbor: I think orphaning a child goes contrary to the direction of his anger.

    If he killed her, I think he'd have to kill both of them, and I don't see him killing a child so I'm going to say no.

    I think he went there because she was a possibly bad mother, and he saw her instinct to protect her child, unlike his own mother, and let her live. 
    OpusWho
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited October 6
    ^^ Honestly I'd love to hear anyone who thinks he killed the neighbor (@Jim and @A_Ron_Hubbard) reckon with all of that. Callin' people out! 
  • Nah, he didn’t kill her, just like he didn’t kill the shorter dude 
    JaimieTOpusWhorkcrawfCory
  • My wife says he killed her. I missed it but she says there are scenes that show what we saw happen really didn’t and it’s more plausible his actions were murder rather than love. 
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Hatorian said:
    My wife says he killed her. I missed it but she says there are scenes that show what we saw happen really didn’t and it’s more plausible his actions were murder rather than love. 

    Yes, those scenes were there. Ask your wife why he would orphan a child immediately after discovering all his misery can be attributed to not having had a good mother.
    Hatorian
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited October 6
    I'm going to say something snobby though (wow, I know, right?) and say I find it interesting that there's all this uncertainty over the Joker killing the neighbor when not only was there not a doubt in my mind that he let her live, I didn't have a doubt there'd be a doubt. It didn't occur to me it hadn't been resolved explicitly.

    Ironically, I was seconds before lamenting that filmmakers have to make shit obvious because people don't pick up on subtlety. When the neighbor says, "Are you Arthur?" that was all I needed to realize the romance had been in his head, yet the filmmaker had to explicitly show us all the scenes with her missing from them. I was bummed to be taken from the flow like that, but I thought, "I guess 80% of the audience will just fucking not get it." (Number to be inflated or deflated depending on that day's self-esteem.)

    So it turns out this thought I have that it's so obvious he let the neighbor live is contextually not well supported, since the filmmaker declared himself willing to show obvious things seconds earlier. I guess I should rather go with the stance that it's intentionally ambiguous. But I dislike intentionally ambiguous moments in a work about showing us all the connecting dots. 

    This is, by the way, the reason I don't highly rate this movie when it comes right down to it. It falls short in little ways like this, and also it lacked any moment that surprised me. Even him shooting the TV host was foreshadowed by him shooting the wall in the living room, same state of mind, same angle.
    OpusWho
  • So this article (https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/10/04/joker-ending-explained-movie-spoilers) brings up some interesting ideas mainly being how much of what we saw during the movie was in Arthur's head.  Here's 2 of the main theories I thought were interesting from the article...

    "My favorite read of the movie is that everything that happens on the streets of Gotham after Arthur kills Murray Franklin is in his head. Instead, it would propose that the clown mask-wearing masses who so rapturously cheer for him are his interpretation of how people could be reacting, while he's instead likely just been arrested and taken straight to Arkham. I also really like the read that this isn't the Joker, but instead a Joker who inspired the person who eventually became the infamous Batman rogue. We see that set-up by Arthur not being the person who kills the Waynes, and for people who are about the non-canonical age difference between Bruce and Arthur, this would also rationalize how this movie isn't breaking Batman mythology in its interpretation."

    "This final scene isn’t the only sequence in the film where we see Arthur in such an institutionalized setting. Very early on in the film, as he speaks to his social worker, Arthur mentions how he thinks he’d been better off when he was hospitalized. The social worker asks him if he’s given any more thought about why he was hospitalized. Arthur dismisses it with, “Who knows?” But in between those lines the film cuts to a quick shot of Arthur, in white scrubs standing in a cell very similar to the one seen in the film’s closing moments, where he bangs his head into the door’s tiny window. Then it cuts back to the scene between Arthur and his social worker. So is it possible that Arthur has been in that white cell the whole time? That he’s simply imagined most of the events depicted in the movie as part of some empowerment fantasy?"


    rhcoop
  • If there was ever a movie less deserving of the level of hype and controversy that this one had, I haven’t seen it. Phillips is too much of a hack to have anything of interest to say with this movie other than “HEY GUYS have you seen Taxi Driver or The King of Comedy? What about Mean Streets or Falling Down?” 

    Every time Phillips sets Arthur up to comment on the things happening to him or around him, he purposefully gives him nothing to say. He sure does take the time to grind that axe he has with the state of “comedy” though. 

    All in all, this is a movie that has a hauntingly great score from Hildur Guðnadóttir, cinematography that should garner an Oscar nomination for Lawrence Sher, and a performance by Joaquin Phoenix that will likely get the same, but one that I just wasn’t personally blown away by. He was good, but I HATED his laugh, and it became more and more grating as the film went on. Most importantly, there was absolutely zero reason for this to be a Joker movie. This was one angry guy and an aimless studio cashing in on the popularity of comic book properties.
    JaimieTawookieetonyp1222OpusWhoBloodyTacoCoryDee
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    I just watched an interesting take that said it was lazy to give Joker mental illness, and that statistically mentally ill people are LESS likely to be violent and it was an opportunity missed to show the truth instead of the cliche. 
    awookieeamyja89tonyp1222BloodyTaco
  • I haven't seen it yet, but am ok with spoilers.  I have worked in mental health for 20 years and all of your political commentary was spot on!  The concept of having people live on their own in their own homes with community supports is a good one, but it is TOTALLY underfunded.  If you live in a home, staff get about $10 an hour.  So, Walmart is the competition job pool wise.  Then, they are totally under trained.  I am a social worker by profession and when I started I made $22K a year.  That was 20 years ago, but now you can expect about $35K to $40K annual. You feel like you are constantly spinning plates.  As soon as you get one client in an ok space, another one is teetering on the brink.  It is a lot of mental stress and when bad things happen, we are the first to be blamed.  For this reason, I am out at the moment and do some contractual work for the county.  In the state I am in, Michigan, our Licensing and Regulatory Affairs department is considering undercutting mental health by changing the licensing requirements of who can help and diagnose and treat people who have substance abuse and mental health conditions.  Just google it and you can read the gory details.  I think the public hearing is this week.  As an aside...sort of...On FB a while ago I got some weird video in my stream of a woman who lives her life with clown makeup.  She has even adopted a vocabulary putting 'cl" in front of every word.  Her name is Lil Lunchbox.  She is CLEARLY mentally ill.  Unfortunately, she does not do the things she needs to do and I am thinking does not get the help that she needs.  If you check her out, just be kind.  I worry with this movie that she is going to take it a little too far.
    JaimieTgguenotRyanReesemanDummyOpusWho
  • tonyp1222tonyp1222 new york
    edited October 7
    I was disappointed by the movie. I've been thinking a lot about it since I saw it yesterday because I do think there are a couple of interesting ideas it was playing with, but I walked away feeling it was 1) not a good movie (though it had the potential), and 2) potentially as dangerous as the alarmists claimed. (that's gonna get me some hate... hear me out).

    DISCLAIMER: This is coming from someone who has loudly fought back against people saying games cause shootings and whatnot. I think that whereas those things are just violence as entertainment, I think this movie plays recklessly with some real ideas out in the world and can be misinterpreted as justification for pretty heinous thoughts and actions.

    My issue with Joker, and the reason I think it's potentially problematic, is that it essentially provides justification for him losing it. His actions, however, aren't justifiable. I think it tries to draw too much sympathy for Joker. At the end, it seems to want you to think, "Man, the world really did him wrong. He's taking it too far, but the world did him wrong." By comparison, Taxi Driver makes you think, "This dude is misreading everything and losing it, but i'm fascinated."

    It's a fine line, and I think Joker fails to walk it. I'll give a more modern example: Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler was such a more interesting, nuanced version of a similarly downtrodden character that made his descent understandable, but NOT sympathetic.

    Even Killmonger and Heath's Joker do a better job of being understandable, if not completely sympathetic. Killmonger's observations about society aren't necessarily wrong, but his solutions are. Heath's version has some really great observations, but his methods are madness:
    "You know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go ‘according to plan.’ Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that a gangbanger will get shot or a truckload of soldiers would be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all ‘part of the plan.’ But when I say that ONE little ol’ mayor will die, then EVERYONE LOSES THEIR MINDS!
    I’m an agent of chaos. And you know the thing about chaos… it’s fair.”
    Damn, that's good. He's a lunatic, but I kinda agree with him on that.

    Joaquin's Joker - an interesting interpretation brought to life by a crazy talented actor - is portrayed as pretty much justified in his actions. When he shoots De Niro, you're like, 'Well, maybe he should've stopped making fun of him.' and that's the basic thesis of the movie. Or as one incel told the BBC: "Maybe if Elliott Rodger wasn’t bullied by females, none of that would have happened. If these females aren’t treating these guys with respect, they’re gonna kill them... That’s just life.”

    That's where the movie gets careless with its message and that's why the movie has the potential to be an accelerant for a really dark movement happening right now.

    -----------
    I really wanted this movie to live up to the positive takes I've read and heard, including the Bald Move review. But I don't think it's a great commentary about untreated mental illness. It's much emptier than that, IMO. 
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited October 7
    1. Joaquin Phoenix is a great actor. In some ways I think his job was tougher than Heath Ledger’s, not being able to be gonzo over the top for pretty much the entire movie made it tougher, a much more natural performance, that was still riveting. 

    2.  They made a Bernie Goetz inspired scene, with more self defense than the actual event,  while steering well clear of pretty much any racist undertones to Fleck in the whole movie. Interesting considering the tendencies one would ascribe to put upon, disturbed loners  

    3. Thomas Wayne appears to be something of an ass, even trying to take Fleck’s take out of the equation. Still possibly Arthur’s father? I think there’s still a chance Penny was being gaslit by the psychiatrist we see in the treatment scene when she was younger. Going against this would be Alfred being on board with the story, though perhaps he might not be aware of her pregnancy so he believes Wayne’s story. Going for this is the picture that Fleck destroys, presumably of Penny, that has “I always loved your smile - T.W” ( or something close to that) on it. 

    4. If the neighbor rejected Arthur the wrong way, I could see bad things happening. Why did he even go to her place if he wasn’t responding to his delusions?

    5.  I guess they needed to do the Batman origin, but I would have liked the movie ending with the TV camera feed being cut. 

    6. If no one has done it yet, will be interesting to see a timeline or chronology of the movie composed only of events that are corroborated by someone other than Arthur Fleck. 
    darwinfeeshy
  • So one the way home from the movie I says to my wife I says...wife...I wonder if anyone with pick up on the fact that my favorite visual scene is scored to Rock & Roll Part 2 (The Hey Song) by 70’s rock guy Gary Glitter...currently in prison in England (2nd stretch for this stain) for MANY counts of sexual assault on children and possession of massive amounts child pornography. 

    So the stories start popping up today...the man is still alive and imprisoned. The song while mostly a stadium rock staple...a jock jam...faded somewhat since his convictions. 

    I read one article with a quote about how “no one in america can be expected to know about Gary Glitter”. Well I knew...so no one in the DC/Warner line knew they were picking a piece of music that will funnel money direct to this human garbage?  Or is it more possible it passed someones desk and they said “Fuck it”?

    Im not a fan of the hype around this movie...but I am a fan of the movie...but that position might be “evolving”. 

    Kela15
  • Also, for the guys, the movie this movie is really heavily referencing is Scorscese’s early 1980s King of Comedy featuring Deniro as a failing comedian obsessed with Jerry Lewis’s successful talk show host. 
    OpusWho
  • Also, for the guys, the movie this movie is really heavily referencing is Scorscese’s early 1980s King of Comedy featuring Deniro as a failing comedian obsessed with Jerry Lewis’s successful talk show host. 
    Re-watched it 2 weeks ago. Holds up. Great movie.
    Freddy
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    edited October 8
    Yeah I picked up on the Gary Glitter music too, I’m in the UK so it was pretty much an instant recognition, very jarring to hear it since his music has pretty much been banished from everywhere!

    I suppose some will respond just by saying that people also continue to use Michael Jackson and R. Kelly songs in various media too.
    OpusWhoKsquaredKela15
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    Did anyone listen to the /Filmcast pod review of this? They slated it pretty hard and even though I didn't have the worst time watching, I can't disagree with any of the criticisms to be honest.
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