You put it rather succinctly, really. There was all of this, but as a standalone movie, I still expected more, but really, it is just that.
I guess, personally, in my going in to the movie, I wanted to see more of the way he became who we know he was. We didn't, but we did indeed get some - we didn't get the madness we wanted to witness. We didn't get the 'Joker' we know.. We got the bereft vague beginnings, the bare understanding of what he was.
To facilitate it we'd need a sequel, but... then we'd ruin this story. we would take away what we did feel.
They should have included just a little more, not as an addendum but as a part of the telling. it tried to do this just with it's being, but it fell short, and all of it could have been put together.
I still liked the movie, but it still leaves me wanting that little bit more, you know??
It's the Joker, after all.. We had blaine explained to us in an entire Batman movie, in detail, but as a sub plot. and as much as I love Tom Hardy, Phoenix could have been so much better, especially with this entire movie.. He had this tale in his grasp, only to be tickled with a tale so taken from him for worry, I guess, in this modern climate.
I guess we're seeing the same thing, but having a completely different reaction to it.
I can definitely understand wanting more! Yeah, it would've been interesting to see him actually rock a crime spree, get into the devious chemical attacks the Joker is known for, but I felt like the movie took us right to the brink of that and then lets the Batman comics and other movies take it from there.
This is who he was before, his transition phase, and now...you can watch The Dark Knight or read The Killing Joke or Batman #1 or something like that.
And where we're seeing our divide is that I was okay watching the caterpillar and cocoon phases, and you would have liked to see a little bit of butterfly...
I wanted that butterfly so much.. the movie enticed it, crawled at it, but I was left with a sticky goo on a bereft leaf... weird allusion, to be sure Oo
But I did so want this to be a start. It felt tepid in it's finality. It didn't have that umpf, it was like the ending to stargate atlantis, you wanted to know, realise, witness, more... but were left hanging.
I don't want to start reading comics to get that fulfillment after the fact.. I wanted that to hit me right in the feelers, right there, and then allow me to peruse those things, in leasure, not be left wanting to have to fulfil those things at random.
Just a movie watcher, me.. not a fan of the franchise, per se.. simple satiation, required. not instructions to go back to beyond..
:) still, it was a good performance by phoenix. That I can say. :)
I'm on-board with the idea that the movie should speak its own piece. I don't like when somebody tells me that I can't "get it" until I read the book/watch until episode seven of the TV series/ whatever. It's got to stand on its own.
I do think Joker stands on its own, but I am a big Batman comic fan, so I will never know how fulfilling the movie would have been for me had I not been a big ol' nerd. I do have friends who loved the film without that background, so anecdotally I can say that's true.
I definitely understand your gross, hilarious metaphor of the sticky goo disappointment. While I don't share your experience, I can empathise with how you arrived at the place you did.
I know what you mean about a movie standing on it's own, while people just lambast it for not being any good and accuse you of just not getting it.
Look into the movie Ink. I thought it was brilliant.. loads of people said it was shite.
But for an indie flick, it stood apart and on it's own. a unique meander into someones mind story that came across as a surreal imperfect, perfection, in my mind.
I will add Ink to the list. Thanks for the recommendation!