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Culture piece #1 Joker: Review+Influence

I saw Joker a couple weeks ago and although I am not very in tune with movie reviews, I know there are many feelings towards the film. A lot of people talk about the lack of action and use of ‘slow scenes’ as a reason for their bad ratings. Personally I believe the film was beautiful, bold, and informative. The cinematography was very different from the Dark Knight which for some reason I did not expect. Although there was much less action, the film held a similar graveness and power which was exemplified in the Dark Knight. Sidenote-I am comparing to the Dark Knight because I held a lot of pre-conceived ideas of what the film was going to be like compared to what it actually was. So when people asked me (tens if not hundreds of times), “Was it better/worse than the Dark Knight?” I answered, “I thought it was just as badass, but in different ways, such as Jaoquin Phoenix’s mental illness portrayal and the way we experienced his development” When I say ‘the way they filmed it,’ I am highlighting the use of emotion play and character development rather than the physicality and movement. 

In Joker, we watch as Jaoquin Phoenix acts as mentally impaired individual who only achieves happiness through evil acts. Before this movie, this concept was hard to understand. Why I think the movie did such a great job at portraying mental illness is because we were able to struggle with Phoenix through the painful scenes of transformation. The lack of control the Joker had while spiraling out and becoming an ultimate villain was not only awful/scary but beautiful because of his struggle. I almost felt sympathetic. Lastly, although I do not know much about superhero history,  this movie was a great incite into the batman story as well. 

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