Joker – Movie Review: Marching towards Oscar

Joker, directed by Todd Philips tells the story of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a clown and an aspiring stand up comedian. Life is difficult for Arthur and rightfully he holds a grudge against society as a whole.

The film depicts how constant rejections and child hood scars results in to gradual degeneration of mind. Arthur is a loner, looked down up on by the society. He has a certain condition which makes him laugh at inappropriate times. He lives alone with his ailing mother.

The movie is set in the early eighties on the background of a rotting Gotham city where the rich and mighty holds the sway with poor people pushed to the margin. The elite class is represented by Thomas Wayne, the mayoral candidate, whom Arthur suspects to be his father. He confronts Wayne, but goes completely out of mind when he discovers the truth.

The dialogues are crisp and touches your sole. The cinematography by Lawrence Sher is magnificent and captures the mood of the story to perfection. Music by Hildur Guðnadóttir is haunting to say the least.

The direction by Todd Philips is top class. He shoots straight into your heart. Zazie Beetz and Frances conroy do full justice to their roles as Arthur’s love interest and mother respectively. But the film is all the way a Joaquin Phoenix show. His performance is iconic and essays the role with aplomb, His psychotic vibes will send shivers down the spine. His eyes convey angst, pain, anger and tenderness to perfection which we have not seen on the silver screen in a long time. His dance on the stairs and the climax interview with Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) stand apart. “How about another joke Murray” will keep ringing in your ears even after you leave the theatre. You will not be surprised if Joker sweeps the Oscar including the awards for the best movie and the actor.

Once upon a time in Hollywood-Review

Once upon a time in Hollywood, directed by Quentin Tarantino is unlike any of his films. Tarantino movies are full of violent action and gore that shakes you of out of your comfort zone.

The movie is extremely slow paced and you would wonder what exactly is happening and where the maverick director is leading you. It keeps you guessing how the director is going to piece together the different sets of jigsaws that was flashing on the screen for near about two hours.

Courtesy:YouTube

The real action starts in the last 30 minutes and you are riveted to your seat till the tittle credit roles up. It indeed is a violent storm after an inordinate lull.

The story is about Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) an actor who is struggling to cope up with the changing Hollywood and Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) who is his stunt double. It is a unique relation shared by Rick and Cliff. More than a stunt doble, Cliff takes care of everything and acts like Rick’s Man Friday. Rick is emotional while Cliff is calm. The story is also based on the murder of Hollywood actress Shane Tate, which shook the Hollywood in 1969. But Tarantino takes the artistic liberty of spinning this tragic event according to his own fantasy.

Courtesy:YouTube

The film has some outstanding performances. Brad Pitt gives an exceptional performance as the calm but tough stunt man. Margot Robbie as Shane Tate is a delight to watch. Just see the scene where she goes to a movie hall and asks for a ticket. The expressions on her face when she watches herself on screen, her counter reactions to the reactions of crowd watching her performance is top class. Leonardo DiCaprio is convincing as the struggling actor. Unfortunately Al pacino did not have much to perform and is wasted.

Whether you love it or hate it, Tarantino once again cements his place as one of the best directors of our times. Blame the slow nature of the movie or the lack of zing you expect from Tarantino, the film remains one of the best films produced in 2019 and has obtained 10 nominations in the upcoming Oscars. In the hands of a lesser director, the movie would have been a disaster. That brings us to the question, If not Tarantino, who else could have directed this movie?