Translated by Elisavet Kechagia
The newly released “The Joker” movie surely caused some waves, with the audience being torn between those who loved it and those who kept their distance.
The story is set in Gotham City in 1981. Joaquin Phoenix portrays Arthur Flek, a failed comedian and pariah whose life takes a different turn in his efforts to become part of the world that surrounds him. The way he is treated by the privileged and the tough situations he goes through, all leave their mark on him and change him… or simply bring to the surface a self long repressed. And thus, Flek transforms into the criminal genius we all know too well: The Joker.
This American psychological thriller touches upon a lot of issues, one being mental illnesses and how they are treated by the world. Director and screenwriter Todd Phillips, most likely wanted to paint the portrait of modern day New York with its large numbers of immigrants, skyrocketing unemployment rates, the marginalization of the average American citizen and so on, through its parallel with Gotham, a city ruled by corruption and social injustice in a series of dark shots, grey and dull images of buildings and dirty streets. It talks about exploitation on behalf of politicians and oppression by all forms of power. Joker is essentially a window to the world of a person trampled down by society.
The majority loved the movie and Joaquin Phoenix’s outstanding performance, whom they call a chameleon for his incredible ability to embody complex characters. There are many that believe that the movie was created with sights set on the Oscar. And why shouldn’t they be? The script, the performance and the photography are worthy of such honour. Naturally, there were those that found the movie commercial and unsuitable for the audience, taking into account the shootings that took place during the screening of Batman-The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado and the violence that could ensue. For this reason, movie theaters in Aurora refused showing the film.
“The Joker” won a Golden Lion in the 76th Venice Film Festival, and broke many box office records in just a month’s time, which rendered it the most successful R rated movie of all times. By the time it was released in Greece, the amount of tickets sold exceeded 600 thousand.
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