Director Todd Phillips’ film, Joker is the origin story of this fictionalized character. This neo-noir film, designed as a psycho-thriller, is dedicated to all those who have been ignored by the system.

It is a twisted attempt that shows, under unfortunate circumstances, any sane or orderly individual can turn into a maniac psychopath like the hero of this film.

Set in 1981 in Gotham City, the film follows Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a happy soul who has a mental issue and a health condition that makes him emit involuntary laughter.

Because of his peculiar behavior, people around him, consider him as a weirdo, a freak. Inspite of his given condition, he is a considerate son, who stays with his aged, ailing mother and single-handedly looks after her.

The two hour narrative is sensitive. You are completely into  the screen with the gritty character study of a dangerously damaged man, who embodies themes of chaos, anarchy and obsession, more in the vein of early Martin Scorsese films

This character is compelling, both by the writing and Joaquin Phoenix’s power-packed, extraordinary performance. It is his canvas and he manages to portray this terrifyingly unpredictable character effortlessly.He ensures that you are completely connected with the character even as he clearly turns into a homicidal maniac.

Technically the film is well-mounted. With ace production values, the visuals are carefully crafted and the era is beautifully captured. Accompanying the visuals are the well-synchronized sound design, Hildur Gudnadottir’s soulful back-ground score and the music pieces like “That’s life”, “Send in the Clowns” and “White Room.”

Overall, Joker is action-packed and unnerving in equal measure.

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