Every superhero needs his antihero! One of the most famous comic books rivals in history is Batman vs. Joker. Until now one of Jokers most iconic roles was played by Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan‘s „The Dark Night“ from 2008. Joker‘s role wasn‘t discribed like that before.
All of the Batman movies from the past described the Joker character only on the edges. Most of the background stories stay hidden. One of the best Batman movies „The Dark Night“ shows us a bit more. The inner disunity and indifferences was matched with a shiny madness. That‘s the effort of Heath Ledger‘s amazing role play. Until now it‘s one of his most controversial roles. Just before the release of the movie no one, except Nolan believes on the success. The result is one of the best played Joker role in the history of Batman movies.
The risks of a standalone movie aren‘t low. Just the Star Wars francise faces the same issues if you look at „Solo“. It rises and falls with the story himself. There are two questions in common: Is the story good enough? And, should this kind of story be told? If the director told us to much, this could demage the mistery of the character. In case of Joker director Todd Philips finds the right balance. The story starts relatively slowly for one good reason: Character devolopment. The audience can follow the complete transformation from Arthur Fleck to Joker played by Joaquin Phoenix. This transformation is credible and comprehensible. Nowadays especially high budget movies suffer at this important point. It should be said that Joker wasn‘t a mainstream movie. This can be recognized by the screenplay and the story. It‘s more like an arthouse production.
Just the presentation of violence encounters many criticisms. For me that‘s not a big issue because most of the developments in the movie are comprehensible. Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Her, Walk the Line) interprets the role a bit different compared with Heath Ledger. But the inner conflict and the missing acceptence in the society was shown very good. Without any spoiler of the movie, it‘s also the description about how much things can a person handle without any explosions.
But there is one more thing here. The hidden star of the movie. It‘s the original score from Icelandic artist Hildur Guðnadóttir. She is also known for the fantastic score of Chernobyl (HBO). With Joker she choose a more classical approach without losing any dramatic peaks. As a spectator you will recognize the soundtrack at some points, but it stays more in the background of the movie. Maybe that‘s because of the running story and conversions. Therefore it‘s worth to listen to the soundtrack at it‘s own. It could be helpful if you are a bit fimilar with classical music. If yes the original score is highly recommended. Just in the last section the dramatic will reach it‘s peak. „Call Me Joker“ sets a marvelous end for both the movie and the soundtrack!