A dark, riveting, gripping, depressing, heart throbbing, exhausting journey pushes you face to your inner fears, demons, conscience and way of looking to the system that you’re also a part of it.
There is a terrifying but realistically compelling line between aggrandizing a killer by finding excuses for his motives, rooting for his rebellious actions and still realizing that killing is wrong and nobody should be the position of angel of Death to make the people pay for their sins.
Todd Phillips’ POV of Joker story is so much depressing, disturbing, pushing you out of your comfort zone to question “are humans born evil or do they turn into evil by the society?” When it comes to get a closer look of Arthur Fleck’s life, he is not diagnosed as psychopath. He is suffering from Tourette Syndrome which is a neurological disorder mostly characterized by involuntary tics and vocalizations. In Arthur’s case it is “EERIE, EAR-SCRATCHING, BLOOD FREEZING LAUGHS” He cannot help himself to stop them. And later we realize he also suffers from delusions.
As you can see from the storyline, this is nothing similar with original DC’s Jack Napier a.k.a Joker’s story who falls into a vat of chemicals that bleach his skin, color his hair green, dye his lips red and drives him insane. Jack Napier was a criminal from the beginning and the murderer of Bruce Wayne’s family in front of the little boy’s eyes.
We don’t know much about the background of Nolan’s “Joker”, too. We only see him on the action to conduct his master evil plans to terrorize Gotham with the help of his blood thirsty minions.
But Arthur’s so much different. Todd Phillips wanted us to think the government created his own monster by pushing him living with the wrong family and cutting his prescribed pills supply, weekly consulting séances which helps him to find a place at the outer world with a proper job and connection with ordinary people. And Todd Phillips’ Gotham also reminds us today’s New York with rats’ invasion and all those black trash bags can be seen at the each scenes resemble body bags and makes you feel smelling the dirt and corruption into your nostril.
Gotham city citizens acted like ticking bombs who are about to explode any second with their hatred, anger, suffering from poverty, unequal and unfair life circumstances. Everybody seems like a victim of injustice and all the crimes against the order look like a reflection of their bottled up pure hatred, anger and urge to change their life conditions.
So Arthur has been beat up , tricked, laughed, fooled, fired, pushed out of the system like a plague you had to annihilate urgently, his alter ego emerged when he defended himself against three Wall Street guys coming from wealthy families who work for Wayne. And this ego turned into a symbol of rebellious act for all the victimized people yearning for a real change!
You can find two Scorsese’s fighters against the society kind of brilliant and memorable characters’ traces at Arthur. They are Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle (as you watch Arthur’s naked upper body making one of the awkward and unforgettable dance moves in front of the mirror and when he mumbles some words to his imaginary audiences, you catch glimpses of Travis, pointing at the mirror and shouting at: