The Joker is not a straightforward movie with a clear plot and a resolution at the end. It’s murky and violent. Lots of hot takes have already been made, many of them negative. However, even these mostly say the movie is darkly attractive and Joaquin Phoenix is astonishing as the Joker.
Rex Reed’s review says “A movie that borders on genius – repellent, dark, terrifying, disgusting, brilliant and unforgettable.” We watch as nonentity Arthur Fleck morphs into a monster. He’s seriously mentally ill. And is continually broken by society. He’s not a sympathetic character at all, and the movie is not a left-wing polemic.
“What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like trash? You get what you fuckin’ deserve!” says Fleck to a talk show host on the air during the crucial scene in the movie.
Hot takes (not mine) include:
It might encourage incels who are sitting alone in mom’s basement rage-posting about something to act out their misfit dark fantasies. Then there will be slaughter. Thus Joker is irresponsible.
See what happens when populism goes crazy in the streets? Surely not every rich powerful person is bad! This is said even though the movie is non-political in any traditional sense.
The movie is complete nihilism. Why should anyone care about this trash person?
That’s maybe the point. Take care of the supposed trash people and maybe then things won’t go screaming off the rails.