PublicFurby’s review published on Letterboxd:
Joker is a movie that says a lot and even more has been said about it. Feels like we have been talking about this movie since as long the last the time the clown has appeared on the big screen. Joker has become a short hand for the violence and nihilism of alienated white male largely due to how big the cultural impact "The Dark Knight" was and how James Holmes was misattributed as being influenced by the character in the film.
Why this big preface to start? Well it's impossible to have seen this movie without the larger media narrative that surrounds it and "Joker" leans in and leans in hard. Joker has not shied away from its controversies and judging by its box office numbers it's not hard to imagine a lot of the media hype was something they were expecting to capitalize on.
The movie plays the "We live in a society" straight and unsubtle. It does not want to be subtle, it is as subtle as a clown in bright red suit or Arthur's eerie laugh. The Film is elevated by the performance of Joaquin Phoenix and the amazing score by Hildur Guðnadóttir. The degradation of Arthur's sanity is as much encapsulated by Phoenix's phenomenal physical acting as in the score and controversial song choice. Arthur is atomized by uncaring world that is decaying as rapidly as his mental health. The Film's political is sloppy and confused, but perhaps because of that reflects the real incoherent and contradictory politics of the disaffected and violent. Where one would should see themselves in a class struggle and embrace class consciousness, the disaffected is separated from their real solutions and their real enemies and connects societal trauma and personal trauma and embraces nihilism. In the absence of answer to crushing inequity and powerlessness all they have is reciprocal violence.