Payton Rofe, Copy Editor and Staff Writer

The new “Joker” movie has been off the charts!  Joaquin Phoenix is the actor who took on the incredibly tough role of the Joker. For instance, he went on an extreme diet, and lost about 52 pounds for the role, but it paid off. Phoenix won the coveted category of Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Author Fleck at the Oscars this past weekend.  

“Joker” was the first live-action film in the Batman film franchise to receive an R-rating. This is due to the movie’s extreme violence and intense behavior. Samantha Dunn, a seventh grader at McAuliffe Middle School, states, “I didn’t really understand at first why the movie was R-rated, but when it got closer to the end it totally made sense.”

Summarizing the story, the ¨Joker¨ is about a failed stand up comedian with mental illness who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham city. In other words, it’s about a man’s painful journey toward self-destruction. Furthermore, the Joker is extremely hyper-aware causing him to no longer care for anything. He has been diagnosed with a plethora of mental illnesses, such as Schizophrenia, Dissociative identity disorder, and Post-traumatic stress disorder. 

To add on, the Joker is obsessed with being insane. In fact, his craziness is there to induce fear. Just as Batman uses darkness, the Joker uses insanity. Since the actors took on method acting, Warner Brothers hired a therapist to make sure no one actually started showing signs of mental illness. In September 2017, Leonardo DiCaprio was also being considered to play the role of the Joker. 

“Joker” premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival. This is where they won the Golden Lion, the festival’s highest prize. Tod Phillips’ movie, “Joker,” has been one of the most talked about movies of the year. 

Even though the movie is critically acclaimed and has won many awards, some fans found it to be uneventful and lackluster with no poignant event occurring until the end when he truly becomes the Joker. Isaiah Garcia, an eighth grader at McAuliffe, states, “The movie was slow and not very interesting. I felt I was just watching the story of a man dealing with mental illness and hardship, as opposed to watching a master villain and one of Batman’s arch enemies in action.”

All in all, everybody has their own perspective, but overall, the movie has been quite successful.