His laughs are anything but funny and you won’t be able to laugh along. There’s a high pitched glee followed by a croaky growl which hides his pain and sufferings, there is no happiness in his laughter shows how lifeless he is on the inside.
From the gloriously afflicting opening scene to the amazing story buildup and to the jaw dropping finale, we all were definitely awestruck by the quality of performance Joaquin Phoenix delivered to us as Arthur Fleck.There isn’t a moment in the movie where you would want to check your phone or go to the bathroom! Joaquin Phoenix has certainly delivered the performance of his lifetime. In the movie, Arthur Fleck has a job of a simple birthday clown and suffers from a mental disorder called ‘Pseudobulbar Effect’ which causes him to laugh uncontrollably especially in the moments of excessive stress and anxiety. Arthur Fleck was a good man, all he wanted was to become a standup comedian and take care of his ill mother but as he quotes “is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?” probably someone who is crazy and cruel was the outside world which bullied, tortured and beat him up.
There are dark moments and scenes where you wouldn’t know whether to laugh or to cry, whether to feel pity or just take a gig at it. Be it the scene where Arthur murders his mother for she never told him the truth about his past and how she let him get tortured by her partner, or the scene where Arthur performs his first ever standup but is interrupted by his laughter, emotionless yet heartbreaking are the accurate words which describes these moments. There wont be any person who wasn’t awestruck on knowing that the romantic relationship Arthur had with his neighbour was never actually there! It was all his imaginations and hallucinations to be precise.
The movie is deep and disturbing and it is not easy for everyone to relate to and feel what the character has to say, and probably the same thing happens in the movie where people around Arthur cannot empathise with him, be it the opening scene where the teens bullies and beat him up, smash his sign board or the scene where Thomas Wayne talks rudely to him that he isn’t his child.
Tthe people around him unknowingly pull out the monstrous side of him, the guy who controlled himself his best but however fails not to shoot the guy who tortured him in the train ends up murdering his own mother without even giving it a second thought!
The film also indicates the dangers of unchecked mental illness as quoted by the joker himself “the worst part of having a mental illness is that people expect you to believe as if you do not.”Even in todays world people don’t understand the importance of empathising with the other individual, understand that mental illness is a real world problem and should be equally taken care of as any other physical illness.
If it was anything that Arthur asked for was that people to be polite to him and understand the mental illness he had and still accept him as the member of the society, but the society only side swept him in the world where he wanted to find an identity. He became a symbol instead of the masked clowns of the city who were the ones who truly accepted him as he was.
“I used to think that my life is a tragedy. but now I realize, its a comedy”- Arthur Fleck (Joker)