First off, comparisons cannot be made as to how Heath Ledger portrayed Joker’s character with Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal. Both are equally worthy of every praise they have received.
With the fanatic twists and turns, great suspense elements and a fine performance, Joker makes sure you are tied to your seat in one pose for the entire 122 minutes. Todd Phillips (co-writer and director) is known for more films categorizing under the comedy section. It was quite surprising to see that he could flip completely around and create a psychological thriller so proficiently that it could drive the audience crazy.
There ought to be a different paragraph when I am writing about Joaquin Phoenix. The film excels with his presence. His expressions, dialogue delivery make the film reach to the level of magnificence. He is the heartbeat to it. Believe you me, it is an Oscar-winning performance.
Everything from direction to individual performances has been no less than brilliant. This includes the mind blowing cinematography (by Lawrence Sher). Phillips and Scott Silver (co-writer) have clearly outdone themselves. Another thing which caught my attention was the outstanding background score (by Hildur Guðnadóttir), which was so befitting for the time the flick is shown from, 1981.
No, it is not as scary as people are claiming it to be. Phillips has beautifully depicted how Arthur Fleck turns into Joker and what makes him turn into a complete nuisance. How it all starts. Lastly, Robert De Niro (as Murray Franklin), Zazie Beats (as Sofie Domund) and Frances Conroy (as Penny Fleck) fortified Phoenix well.