I have seriously put on a happy face. The official and final Joker was released on Wednesday and it has set the benchmarks for the film so much higher.
Joker is a movie that is centered around an interesting character, rather than a stimulating character being horseshoed into a motion picture. Director Todd Phillips says his film isn’t following any specific comic book deadlines, but it looks to have a specific direction all unique to its own. With a certified R rating, bleak New York City-esq atmosphere, and full-tilt Joaquin Phoenix; all things are pointing up to the Joker living up to the hype.
How great is it at the 25 second mark when Phoenix has the first iteration of The Joker laugh? It’s a laugh to hide himself. You see his facial expression change; you see his shoulders shrink to the floor. Then there is a line that hits close to home and creaks the door into Arthur Fleck’s inner thoughts:
“All I have are negative thoughts.”
So we have the foundation of Fleck, and then we are introduced to the motivation. Murray Franklin, a TV show host played by Robert De Niro, pokes fun at Fleck and his failed stand-up routine. In this trailer, it’s the inciting incident.
Now let the chaos and unhinged Joker ensue. Through Fleck’s own self-realization (in obvious horrid, all be it confidence increasing ways), he is creating a movement. People are following his message; whatever it is he is pushing forward. It’ll be curious to see when Joker’s appearance on Franklin’s TV show is. His entrance onto the stage closes out the trailer, but I theorize it happens before the third act of the movie. On that TV show appearance, that’s when Fleck persona will die and the Joker persona will take over permanently. He will commit an atrocity that strikes fear into most, but touches deep within the heart of some.
Joker’s final trailer is a perfect tease. We don’t know the plot. We haven’t seen all the characters. We are still in the dark. The Joker is a character that’s been shrouded by shadow since his inception into the comic book universe, and now we have a movie that looks to honor that background. Yes Todd Phillips. Yes Joaquin Phoenix. Count me all the way in.
Joker releases on October 4, 2019.