1) I watched this movie while tripping out on a fast and coffee. If you want to intensify your experience then try likewise. Joaquin Phoenix also did a lot of no-eating for this film, losing 50 pounds, and said it affected his psychological state, so maybe it’s a good way to get in tune with madman Phoenix.
2) This film reminded me of the French Revolution. Citizens were fed up, angry, furious, with the ruling aristocrats, and when that anger finally took form it ended with a lot of dead rich people.
Look at the reviews on this movie and you’ll see that society’s gatekeepers know its politically dangerous. Think about that. The ruling class of our society understands that they are the French aristocrats, we are the peasants, and people are getting really mad, so mad that they’re scared. This movie is resonating with a lot of people.
3) This movie is political and not political. At root it is a call to compassion for suffering people, not so much leniency, but more on the personal level to be honest and look them in the eye.
But it’s not either anti-Republican or anti-Democrat. It’s both. For instance, when Wayne Dad calls all lower class people clowns this is reminiscent of Hillary calling half of Americans deplorables, and when Wayne Dad tells people to stop being lazy and make something of themselves, it’s sure sounds like a Republican talking point.
It’s telling that Conservatives seem to be empathizing with this movie while Leftists seem to feel insulted by it.
4) Todd Phillips is a mad man. Directing GOAT film The Hangover and now this wildly subversive movie.
5) This movie critiques women for not being compassionate with men and indeed even being deranged and dangerous sometimes. Look at Joker’s mom and his psychiatrist. These are women in a position in Joker’s life that should take care of him but didn’t. It’s rare to see women held to account like this and they alongside their feminists white knights are lashing out.
Incidentally, this theme briefly popped up in The Hangover with the dentist’s wife.
6) The finger squarely gets pointed at the upper class in gated communities who say they care about suffering people and really don’t. That is Hollywood. Talk show host Murray epitomizes such a character.
Why on earth did De Niro accept this role? It places him as the villain in a role that accurately echoes his real life villain role.
I can think of two explanations. One is that subconsciously he feels guilty about who he is in real life. The other is that he consciously feels guilty about it, but only does it because he is compromised—see these photos of him yucking it up with Putin-friend-oligarchs and recall that Russia hates Trump—and this was his way of covertly saying what he really thinks. This hypothesis reminds one of Russian dissidents actually, who had to hide messages of dissent in metaphors in art.
Maybe a little crazy my theory, but it’s logically consistent as far as I can see, so I throw it out there.
7) This movie is not cynical. It rejects people who cynically accept phoniness and lies. It says people are capable to stop burying their anger, embrace it, and society can change.