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If you have not seen Joker 2019, I highly recommend you watch it before reading this review! I was mind-blown by this movie. My expectations were blown away. This movie tackled deep issues like society's hypocrisy, lies about equality, child abuse, mental illness, etc. I was shocked at some scenes which crossed some boundaries. What made this movie great was how it didn't just tell the comic book story of how a crook fell in a vat of chemicals and became the Joker. Joker 2019 gave a new interpretation of the Joker's origins which made me think about a lot. Joker 2019 had loads of emotion and some ambiguity in the right places. The scenes about mental illness spoke some harsh truths about how mentally ill people are treated today. Hence, why Arthur Fleck wrote in his notebook “the worst part about mental illness is people expecting you to behave as if you don’t have one.” It seemed like no one supported Arthur Fleck's mental illness. They don’t want to acknowledge mental illness exists much less understand it. It’s as if people just want the mentally ill to be locked up in a mental institution and be done with it. It also had some harsh truths about equality. Society cares more about status than about equality. The poor are expendable. People criticized it for its violence, but I think they were disturbed. Because there was no Batman, we had no one to look to as a savior. Joker 2019 forced us to look at ourselves and our relationship with people like the Joker. It raises disturbing questions like how much of a role we play in creating someone like the Joker and how accurate are his perceptions? Throughout Joker 2019, it was hard to tell if Arthur Fleck was seeing things correctly or just being delusional. People criticized the film for this Joker not fully embracing the evil and chaos in him like say Heath Ledger’s Joker. I don’t think this criticism is valid. People forget this is a different Joker before he became THE Joker. That’s why it's an origin story. I was about to criticize this Joker for his lack of clever punchlines and criminal schemes but realized that’s the point. The Joker was a failed comedian trying to get by in the world. He didn’t have any intention to turn to a life of crime. We see a very vulnerable side of the Joker that’s not there in most Batman films. I loved the original soundtrack. It reminded me a lot of the theme of the Dark Knight live-action franchise. I thought the song “smile” by Jimmy Durante was iconic and perfect for Joker 2019. Joker 2019 had some flaws. I disliked the excessive laughing and subtle references to Taxi driver along with Heath Ledger's Joker. I felt like they were put there just for "fan service." They didn't feel believable and felt inconsistent with Arthur Fleck's character. I thought the Joker’s love interest didn’t need to be there. It was not how i imagined it would be. I thought the comic’s version of the Joker’s wife made more of an impact than Joker’s girlfriend. I thought the film could’ve been much darker had it taken a different approach with his love interest based on the comics. I disliked how some songs like those of Frank Sinatra didn’t fit well with the theme of the film. I didn’t think the song “smile” was placed in its proper scene. It could’ve been put in a better scene. Perhaps the movie’s biggest flaw was how it focused too much on the Joker’s mental illness rather than his emotional turmoil. I was expecting to see a blend of emotions and mental illness. Lots of people already included hallucinations or the “reality vs. fantasy” motif in films on mental illness. It’s become too cliche. The film could’ve been more powerful if it stuck to creating drama while balancing out the Joker’s mental illness. If you want to learn more, check my post! Joker 2019 review