The Joker is a psychological thriller, which also serves as a conduit as to where this enemy of Batman came from and what made him this violent and insane clown.
Loosely based on DC Comics characters, Joaquin Phoenix stars as the Joker.
Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) is an outsider and comic, who lives with his mother In Gotham City.
Arthur is a depressed, medicated mess of a man, who longs for the spotlight — but instead of being a star becomes the punchline.
Soon into the story I saw homages to Scorsese films such as Raging Bull (1980), The King of Comedy (1983), and especially Taxi Driver (1976). In fact, the star of Taxi Driver — Robert De Niro is in The Joker too.
In case you’ve forgotten Taxi Driver, or were too young to see it originally — Travis Bickle (De Niro) is a lonely, depressed 26-year-old living in isolation in New York City. Travis takes a job as a night shift taxi driver to cope with his chronic insomnia, driving passengers around the city's boroughs. He hates his life and longs for something better.
Sound familiar? You talkin’ to me?
Back to Arthur who gets fired, loses his ability to pay for needed medication, his mother has a stroke and he finds out he was really adopted.
His anger turns to violence, and be forewarned — this is not a film for the kiddies.