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Film Review: The Joker’s Journal (short film) (2016)

SYNOPSIS:

How Heath Ledger became the Joker.

REVIEW:

More short films, kiddies! Today we have THE JOKER JOURNAL, directed by Josh Venkataraman.

This is an interesting film and a bit different from the type of stories I usually get for review. This is an interpretation of a real event, and while it has some basis in fact it is actually a work of fiction.

We all know who Heath Ledger was, of course. And I imagine most of us have seen his turn as the infamous Batman villain. We also are aware of his tragic death before the film opened. There has been a lot of speculation that something about the role of The Joker, or more to the point in the way Mr. Ledger prepared for the role,  contributed in some way to his untimely demise.

It’s true that he holed up in a hotel for a month or more to try and “find the character”. It is rumoured that during that time he created a book of notes for himself known as the Joker Journal.

This film is a sort of dramatic recreation of the preparations Mr. Ledger may have undertook leading up to the production of the film. While I don’t believe anyone beyond his immediate circle has ever seen his rumoured book of notes, nor been privy to exactly what happened during that time, this film explores what it may have been like for Mr. Ledger as he tried to touch madness in order to properly portray it.

Mr. Ledger is played in this film by John Corby, and this is his only listed project. It does play a bit like a demo reel for the actor. However, he does a fairly good job in his impersonation of Mr. Ledger, as well as a few other characters through the course of the film.

Basically, this is a love song to Heath Ledger, and to the art of acting, and to the lengths some actors will go in order to be the best at their art. I personally found it fascinating and it’s definitely worth a watch.

Using my special short scale of one to five, five being awesome, I’m giving this film 4 Jokers.

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