Tag Archives: Adrien Brody

Film Review: Joker (2019)

“You don’t listen, do you? I don’t think you ever really hear me. You just ask the same questions every week. How’s your job? Are you having any negative thoughts? All I have are negative thoughts. But you don’t listen. I said, for my whole life, I didn’t know if I even really existed. But I do, and people are starting to notice.”

You know it is extremely difficult to write a review of Joker and sum up the presentation of Joker’s character. It cannot be explained in a few sentences or paras. It depends on how you judge the film and how better you can translate your opinion into words. I will try.

See, Joker, the archnemesis of Batman is reimagined out of the comic books and all those 80 years of the remarkable writings. You don’t have to follow or compare it with the comic pages. The understanding is that how one director understands human psychology and observes Joker as a human. Full marks to Warner Bros. for picking a very interesting name who I never imagined to direct about Joker – Todd Phillips. Amongst all the directors, alive or dead, if I am asked about the most fitting director who can do justice with Joker, it has to be Stanley Kubrick.

Many Gothamites will realize that most of Batman’s villains are mental and they all have their issues which we don’t follow because who wants to know about the villains. They are bad people, right? We only care about h.e.r.o.e.s. because they are good people and they are always right, they are angels, they are Godly people to serve humans. Bad people are evil, right?

But the provoking part is why villains choose this path? Why villains feel glad to make people suffer? Why Joker is so evil? He is one villain who has put Batman to the most difficult tests to the most extreme lengths than anyone in Gotham.

“I think I felt better when I was locked up in the hospital.″

Arthur Fleck, a failed comedian, a bullied, a society-reject, majorly ignored, mocked and an isolated Gothamite who suffers PBA and is bound to take care of the only person who is cordially associated with him – his ailing old mother.

Like I described before, this film is completely out of comic book pages about Gotham and the related characters. For me, Fleck is an assumption about his becoming Joker. Todd Phillips focuses on how the human loses his/her sanity in difficult circumstances and unfortunately makes him/her evil to society? How does he or she become a menace or a reckoning? Anyone of us can become Arthur Fleck in the given circumstances but only a few of them, unfortunately, turn to the wrong side of humanity and become a ‘problem’ for the society who were ‘victim’ in the past.

“I Hope My Death Makes More Cents Than My Life.”

Joaquin Phoenix‘s entire body language in the film needs to enter the case studies and lectures in the medical and educational institutions. How is someone so talented to describe the emotional fluctuations and reflex/nerve behaviors. Look at him when he tries to avoid those episodes of laughs on the bus, at the office, and in the stand-up comedy show. Observe his almost nervous breakdown when the boss warns him, or when he paces his feet to shoot the last culprit outside the station.

And then the iconic moment of Joker’s stair dance at West 167th Street at The Bronx was, I believe, much-needed breathing in Fleck’s terrible life. It aired freedom from all the sufferings. That is why that scene was so important. That scene has made that site a regular visiting spot.

“I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it’s a f**king comedy.”

So who played a better Joker? Ledger or Phoenix? I think it is a tie and on a different note, the roles cannot be compared. Both versions of Joker were interestingly not comic-based. One was created from Nolan’s imagination, the other from Todd’s. Fleck’s one is Joker’s sorry past reaching to the initial phase of his crime career as Joker, Ledger’s is the existing Joker at his crime peak. So both roles are excellent in different BATverses.

I still believe there was room for improvement in the plot writing especially in the final 30 minutes. But I think the story has met its ultimate ending and there is no need to bring the sequel.

Joker is an outstanding standalone film. I will count Joker amongst the best films which were fully centralized on the major character like Robert de Niro in Taxi Driver, Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange, Tom Hanks in Cast AwayAdrien Brody in The Pianist, and a few more.

Not aware of the outstanding male performances of this year but if Phoenix again misses the Oscar,

“Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?”

Ratings: 8.8/10

Houdini (2014)


I am yet to understand the logic of fictionalizing historic events or biographies and deceiving the viewers who are under impression that seeing is believing… What would happen if the storyteller speaks the true lines parallel to someone’s life? Won’t the viewers appreciate and fully accept? I wanted to see a biographic docudrama about life of the great Harry Houdini and then, things unexpectedly went wrong…

First let me brief you who he was. Harry Houdini was son of a Rabbi and belonged from a Jewish-immigrant Hungarian family who moved to United States when he was a kid. At a small age, he became a trapeze artist to feed his family. He loved reading and once read French magician Houdini’s autobiography that inspired him to practice magic and changed his real name Erik Weisz to Harry Houdini. Later on he became illusionist and escape artist, saying in terse an entertainer. Houdini was a freemason.

Nicholas Meyer, the writer who famously wrote Star Trek movies, Time After Time and directed Sommersby, wrote ‘Houdini‘. Despite the fact that the miniseries was funded by History Channel, it still was historically the least accurate story about Houdini crossing most of the limit.


Neither there is any evidence that Houdini got trapped in a frozen river nor did he get fame by escaping from jail. He never grew up or bought a large home in Brooklyn, nor did he work with a magician when he was a kid. Houdini’s secret-keeper Jim Collins was never American from Georgia but English and Houdini never played a bullet-catching act in his prime and never in a private performance for last German Emperor, Wilhelm II.

Houdini’s bondage sex with British painter Elizabeth Thompson (well-known as Lady Butler) is one of most bizarre plot to establish. Forget this ding-dong, there is no indication if they ever met. Houdini’s wife never took promise from her husband to give up escapes. In contrary, she was his biggest admirer and supporter of his work. His interest in spiritualism came in last phase of his life, the truth is that he was interested from the start of his magic career.

There is no evidence that Mina Crandon (Miss Margery) ever seduced Houdini or in his hotel room. He never offered punches on stomach, his first recorded punch was in his last year during a lecture at MacGill university. He never collapsed at stage during his final performance before rushing towards hospital. In fact he completed the show and came back hotel.


Wanna know worse than that? At your own risk! This is the biggest technical mistake of the whole miniseries when it comes to historical timeline accuracy by the way. There is a 1903 scene where Houdini is invited by Russian Royal family to present a private performance. One of the wish is to make the Kremlin Bells ring which he does. Among the attendees is the mad monk, Rasputin.

If the reader carefully read these last few Russian scenes and if he/she has some knowledge of Russian history, then the reader will understand that the makers come up with one of the biggest blunders; 

1. Rasputin never met the Russian royal family  i.e. the Romanovs in 1903. It was November, 1905 when Princess Milica of Montenegro presented Rasputin to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

2. Kremlin Clock is on Spasskaya Tower in Moscow. Moscow? Under the Russian Empire, St. Petersburg was the capital from 1730 till 1917. How come Houdini performed in front of the Romanovs in Moscow instead of St. Petersburg?

I would hugely recommend Houdini fans and those who would like to dig his life to better log on to www.wildabouthoudini.com or www.thegreatharryhoudini.com

If the viewers would like to watch Houdini leaving the historical accuracy behind, then the plus is Adrien Brody‘s central role of Houdini. Adrien has every right to receive full-marks appreciation as his selection was the biggest trump card the makers played. Like Houdini, Adrien also is Jew, Hungarian from mother’s side, not born but grew and lived in United States. If that is not enough then like Houdini, Adrien Brody also performed magic tricks at young age. That is the reason, Adrien performed most of the tricks in the series on his own. Kristen Connolly as Houdini’s wife has done a terrific job.

To sum up and try to end this post in a better way, I would like to raise one question to the makers of Houdini. Please tell me just pleeeeaaassseeeeee tell me I beg you; in the series, how come Houdini’s eyes were brown at childhood and green when he was adult??? :’S

Ratings: 4/10

Follow me on TWITTER @saminaik_asn