Joker takes its time to develop his character. Even so long that the “real” Joker, i.e. Arthur in full clothing and with the final make-up, is only visible for the last 10 minutes. But does that make the movie bad? Not at all. It was important to bring his development so precise and long (although it never really seemed long to me) to the screen. Especially since Joaquin Phoenix is without a doubt playing his heart and soul. His acting is fabulous.
The film lives from Joaquin. It lives from his improvised and spontaneous ideas and interventions, which very often made it into the finished film. Joker lives from the basically gloomy mood with few but well placed amusing interludes. It lives from it’s comprehensibility. Joker manages that. It makes it possible to empathize with Arthur. No, it doesn’t make you understand every move he makes. But you do understand how and why he breaks. Why he’s becoming the man we all looked forward to. And we understand why he’s always been exactly that person.
My favorite scene: Arthur throws the Joker mask into the trash and calmly walks past all the cops in the subway.
My ★★★★★ review of Joker (2019) on @letterboxd: boxd.it/RddQR 🍿