So instead of accepting, I decided to channel my inner Konnikova
I’m not really paid for my time, I thought. I’m paid for the ideas, perspectives, strategies, tips, etc. I deliver. (Buy an Adam Grant book and you don’t pay for the time he spent writing it; you pay for the value you receive.) And I’m not desperate, since speaking is only one of the things I do.
In the movie
‘Joker’, there is an expression of Joaquin Phoenix that tells it all. It
essentially captures the complete loss of his innocence, and his belief in the
world. He is alone in his thoughts in a made up world and all his psychotic
mind can think of is the destruction of the world outside. Something similar
happens to Pvt.Pyle (Vincent D’Onofrio), when he loses his faith in everybody
and just snaps.
These two expressions of two very good actors are quite different, understandably as one is about to self-destruct and is sure about it (Pvt.Pyle), while the other (Arthur Fleck aka Joke) looks it at like the start of a dangerous game. This perspective of ‘Full Metal Jacket’ and Pvt.Pyle comes very handy in understanding the portrayal of Joker by Joaquin Phoenix, who internalizes everything except the laughter as if it were a defense mechanism or an appearance and his every hurt comes to haunt him in mega proportions which he unleashes on the real world.
In the end what we have is a mad man, who looks at his moves as funny and questions who are others to decide what is funny. But there is question about the performance of Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix, which is serious and spectacular in each and every frame.
Bill Pullman as an actor is known for his supporting roles, in blockbusters like ‘Independence Day’ (1&2) and ‘The Equalizer’.
In ‘The Ballad of Lefty Brown’ he gets to play the protagonist and he pulls it off with élan. It’s a very difficult role to portray…as someone who is struggling to find a footing in life even after 60 years and suddenly receives a jolt when his friend is shot dead. He plays a character that is almost dumb witted to outside world and hence cannot show much of a change in his demeanor or expressions. (In contrast the other two— Jim Caviezel as Governor James Bierce and Tommy Flanagan have decent scope to show transformation as their characters evolve. I haven’t watched Tommy Flanagan much after ‘The Gladiator’ and he does a superb job in this film.)
It takes a
while to get connected to Lefty Brown and once we do, we root for him all the
way. Overall the movie makes it a good watch for all westerns’ fans, with
revenge and suspense thrown in for good measure.