Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Joker: The Highest-grossing R-rated Movie

As of Monday, Joker’s box office receipts after 25 days stood at a massive $853,800,429. 

This makes Joker the highest-grossing R-rated movie globally – surpassing the $782,612,155 earned by “Deadpool” in 2016 and not to mention, the $734,546,611 grossed by “Deadpool 2” in 2018. Acccording to Box Office Mojo. 

I already knew that Joker was a big deal, but it still surprises me.

Watching the movie and I can’t help but compare Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker (below left) with that of Heath Ledger (below right) in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. 

To be sure, Phoenix does not radiate Ledger’s explosive energy – but there’s a hypnotizing energy nonetheless. The slow-burning type of energy that sears, singes and scorches you languidly, unhurriedly and without qualms. 

And, when his malevolence is finally unleashed, he is just as terrifyingly effective a lord of chaos. 

The Arthur Fleck character (left), the emaciated sad sack (Phoenix reportedly shed 52 pounds for the role), the unhappy unfunny clown holds a mirror to his audience – and what we see in it remains very personal. It did touch me to the core, I can tell you that. 

I admit I'm drawn towards him. Fleck evokes  deeply rooted sympathy – a brooding and introspective figure who is drowning in his own putrid cesspool of cheerless grief. A bewildering puzzle of a man who is imperceptible, impenetratable and when he himself says he feels invisible – it’s clear why: he’s the kind of person people look away from on the street, whether out of laid-back apathy or active discomfort. People see him and yet, they don’t. 

Joker carries strong references to mental health and the struggle with despair, dejection and depression. 

Joker is one movie that cuts you until you bleed. And you will really bleed.

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