‘Joker’ Director Reveals What People Won’t Like About the Film

Jokerstarring Joaquin Phoenix in the title role — opened to strong initial critical reviews and managed to snag the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion award. According to many industry experts, these early triumphs prime the villain-themed film for some Oscar nominations. Will Joaquin Phoenix follow in Heath Ledger’s footsteps, and become the second actor to win the most coveted prize for his portrayal of the Bat’s archnemesis? 

Joker Joaquin Phoenix
‘Joker’ Joaquin Phoenix | Photo by Gotham/GC Images

According to the critics’ consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, “Joker gives its infamous central character a chillingly plausible origin story that serves as a brilliant showcase for its star — and a dark evolution for comics-inspired cinema.” While both the narrative and the lead actor’s performance have been hailed by critics, audiences have yet to see the so-called masterpiece. 

Though deemed a frightening reflection of our contemporary society and a deep-dive into the psyche of an unstable mind, the director revealed what he believes viewers will not like about the film. And, based on his account, comic book enthusiasts may be the first to cry out in contempt. 

Director Todd Phillips explains why ‘Joker’ will make some people mad 

Though Joker is an origin story based on Batman’s archnemesis, it will not align with comic book trajectories and, as a result, enthusiasts may feel that the story strips the character of his canonical appeal. Todd Phillips stated:

We didn’t follow anything from the comic books, which people are gonna be mad about…We just wrote our own version of where a guy like Joker might come from. That’s what was interesting to me. We’re not even doing Joker, but the story of becoming Joker. It’s about this man.

Empire

The film will be dark, disturbing, contemplative, socially relevant, and it will likely leave you feeling uncomfortable for a few days after the fact. However, it will not align with the expectations you may have set forth upon hearing such a movie was coming to the silver screen. However, while the director notes the dismissal of the comic books, fans may be dissatisfied with another factor that a few critics have noted. 

What critics who don’t like ‘Joker’ are saying 

While Joker currently boasts a 77% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, some critics have spoken out against the film, arguing it does not deserve all the adulation it has already received. One critic stated:

Well, OK. Phillips and Silver are entitled to imagine any version of the Joker they like. But their film is way too superficial to take seriously as a study of class conflict and mental illness.

BBC.com

Other critics who condemn the film support this proclamation, stating that its superficiality and reliance on predictable, yet hollow, foundations to the Joker’s madness strip this film of its potential. One critic argued:

There’s probably a lot of fanfiction out there that’s far more innovative, provocative, profane, incisive, and effective than Joker.

Consequence of Sound

Will fans agree with the critics above? Will the Joker come off as a failed attempt to make a claim, send a message, or reflect on society? Will it simply be a shot that misses the target in the fans’ eyes?