It focuses on the psyche of the main character, as it slowly crumbles under the pressure of society. And thus, Joaquin Phoenix does a wonderful performance, earning almost surely a nomination at the oscars at least. It’s a take on the Joker that differs from Ledger’s, but I’d say that both are equally as good. The main difference might be that Ledger’s joker is a rational that acts insane, while Phoenix’s is insane to the root.
Despite being a movie about a superhero villain, Joker is much superior to most of the movies of the genre (I’d exclude the Dark Knight Trilogy only, but Joker is easily as good as Nolan’s movies, or at least very close). It is a small-scaled film, with a distinct style and cinematography (that cannot but be appreciated) and a set of very cinephile references that however do not feel too forced or overly opressive. (most notable are the similarities to Scorsese’s ‘Taxi Driver’ and his ‘The King of Comedy’, but also Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’ is somewhat referenced).
What’s the most important thing that connect a character with the public? A deep, psycological interior drama. That’s what brings this cinecomic upper from others similar movie. Joker is a protagonist that you’ll never forget, I’ll garantee you! More human and less fictional character: it could be a story of a normal man that try to survive in this mad world where there’s no right or wrong and the real normality is to be mad, it’s a Pirandellian concept in a way but that’s the main theme. Even Gotham and the people who live in are seen in a new, dark, cynical and more actual than ever view.
Normally people start to compare the movie with one of the greatest like The Dark Knight and in acting wise to that of Heath ledger’s Potrayal of joker. I wouldn’t say this movie is better that that or otherwise , but it will stand tall amongst the greatest like The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Citizen Kane, The Dark Knight. Coming to the inevitable comparison of who’s the better Joker? Heath or Joaquin. The answer is Both did a phenomenal job and the Joker character itself is fortunate to have being played by two greatest actors. Definitely a top contender for Oscars.