The People's Joker Film Review

One of the most anticipated movies of the year, the sequel with the promise of a few musical numbers, is Joker: Folie À Deux starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck (Joker) and Lady Gaga as Harleen Quinzel (Harley Quinn). After watching the trailer multiple times, there are some interesting elements at play that are reminiscent of musicals like La La Land and All That Jazz. Fear not, I say, because to tide you over until the October release date we have Vera Drew’s The People’s Joker arriving in select cities and theatres. It will be playing in Montreal at Cinema Du Parc on April 28th at 9 PM. 

The People’s Joker is a parody comedy DIY project from writer/director/editor and star Vera Drew. Taking elements from the Batman and Joker films, Drew comes up with her own version of the character (Joker The Harlequin), subverting the traditional notions of the Joker. Joker The Harlequin is an aspiring comedian in Gotham City, where comedy is outlawed and creates her own anti-comedy trope where she finds love and a group of friends along the way. She forges her own comedy routine and rises in the ranks of the underground comedy circuit eventually getting a call from Lorne Michaels of UCB Live. Her own relationship with Joker sets her on a collision course to become born again through a fall in a vat of feminizing chemicals to becoming the more personified embodiment of Joker The Harlequin.  

There is another underlying element to this film that is a vehicle for Drew to tell her autobiographical story about finding one’s self and self acceptance. Not all of life is full of cherries and roses as anyone familiar with the DC canon of dark and gothic can attest to. Some of the storyline falls under the toxic relationship between Joker and Harley Quinn, which Drew does not shy away from portraying in her relationship between Joker The Harlequin and Joker. Another storyline sees Joker The Harlequin and her mother having a falling out and trying to find acceptance with one another at the very end. Finally, it takes her mentor at QBC Live Ra's Al Ghul to help her find self-acceptance. 

I don’t recommend this film for anyone who might have issues with some of the dark subject matter, including but not limited to toxic relationships. However, I can state that Vera Drew, on a creative level, is a force to be reckoned with for taking a familiar franchise and subverting it to her own narrative as a vehicle for an autobiographical film about identity and self-acceptance. In the same way, Joker and Harley Quinn are seen as the outcasts of society who are looking to find self-acceptance of their identity and personas. If you are looking for a dark comedy that subverts the DC Batman/Joker narrative and calls it out on its hypocrisy, or if you are looking for a film to tide you over until Folie À Deux then I recommend checking out The People’s Joker. 


The People’s Joker will be playing at Cinema Du Parc on April 28th at 9 PM. Cinema Du Parc will be closed for renovations from 29th of April to the 16th of May so it’s a great way to support this local independent movie theater. 

Remi is the host of At The Movies Along Co-Host Danny Aubery every Tuesday Mornings from 8-9 AM only on CJLO 1690 AM. They cover local film festivals, have interviews with directors and actors, and talk about a new film or the classics.