Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix set out to make something different with Joker. They wanted to make a comic book movie grounded in reality. Phoenix warned fans early on that his take on the Clown Prince of Crime was going to be more of a character study than anything else. So far, the reviews have been mixed. Some are all on board for the new take on the iconic villain, while others aren’t into it at all. Thanos actor Josh Brolin feels that Joker is an excellent movie with a lot to say.
Avengers: Endgame and Infinity War fully introduced Josh Brolin’s Thanos to the world. The first installment was basically his movie, as the Mad Titan sought to bring balance to the universe. Audiences were given the chance to side with the villain and see where he’s truly coming from. The same can be said about Joker, and Brolin fully embraces that aspect of the recently released movie. He had this to say in his review of the movie.
“To appreciate Joker I believe you have to have either gone through something traumatic in your lifetime (and I believe most of us have) or understand somewhere in your psyche what true compassion is (which usually comes from having gone through something traumatic, unfortunately). An example of dangerous compassion would be to, say, make a film made about the fragility of the human psyche, and make it so raw, so brutal, so balletic that by the time you leave the theatre you not only don’t want to hurt anything but you desperately want an answer and a solution to the violence and mental health issues that have spun out of control around us. This film makes you hurt and only in pain do we ever want to change. It’s all in the irony of trauma – a fine line between the resentment of wanting to hurt society back for raping you of a decent life, for not protecting you, and accepting what feels like alien feelings with softening to those others who seem freakish in our era of judgment, and digital damnation.”
Trauma is all over Joker. Unfortunately, Josh Brolin is right about trauma existing in all of us. That is something very real that the movie taps into and some are uncomfortable about that aspect, which is where all the controversy has stemmed from. Brolin likes the idea that Joker gives us insight as to what could happen when trauma goes unchecked. He explains.
“Like kids in Middle School: man, they can just be mean. For no reason. And, sometimes, those awful little clicky kids breed an evil in someone that rages much later, when everyone pretends we are all back to normal, when we all thought it had just manned up and gone away. We have a habit of hating and ostracizing and dividing and sweeping our problems under the rug. Joker, is simply lifting the rug and looking underneath it. Nothing more. Nothing less. It’s there.”
Josh Brolin has been hailed for making Thanos an emotional character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though Infinity War is radically different from Joker, both movies center on the villain and his motives. We get to see a look behind the curtain at what made this character who he is. The Mad Titan has a horrible backstory, which was originally going to be put on the big screen, but the Russo Brothers didn’t have enough time.
When looking at Joker, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix wanted the audience to see what makes Arthur Fleck tick. They wanted to show how society can produce something awful, which is exactly how The Mad Titan’s backstory unfolds. It’s now wonder why Josh Brolin felt a connection to what Phoenix and Phillips pulled off.
Joker is currently in theaters and number one at the box office. The DC movie strips away a lot of the fantasy in comic book movies and leaves a lasting impression on the viewer, no matter if they enjoyed the movie or hated it. For Josh Brolin, it stuck with him enough to pen a thoughtful review on social media, which may influence others to give the movie a shot. You can read Josh Brolin’s Instagram review of Joker below.