The Joker is my fiance’s favorite DC villian. He has been highly anticipating this movie, so of course we had to go on opening night. I didn’t know what to expect and I was really excited to see this side of the Joker being portrayed since I’m not very familiar with this story line. Joaquin Phoenix’s acting was truly AMAZING and this movie/story had me thinking about it even hours after it was already over.
I read a couple of articles that state that the movie has no message, no story, and that maybe if it did it would be easier to defend but I think some are missing the point. Now this is my take and we can all agree to disagree but from the beginning I thought this was going to be an art piece. Something to make you think, and that’s exactly what it does if you have an open mind. I think that this movie portrays some of the things that are wrong with people and society today.
To give some background into the movie, this portrayal of the Joker shows him having a mental illness. Throughout the movie Arthur Fleck (Joker) is a victim to society. He gets bullied and beaten among many other things, all while just trying to survive living in poverty. The whole premise of this story is to give insight and backstory as to why the Joker is the villian that he is today. It goes without saying that senseless violence is wrong and there are no excuses for that but of course the Joker is a fictional character and should be treated as such.
Coming back to the topic of mental illness (along with depression), it is very much real and a lot of us deal with the struggles every single day of our lives. Some of us have a better grasp on it than others and in the case of Arthur Fleck, he was dealing with life one day at a time but it was only just a matter of time.
“The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t”Arthur Fleck (Joker)
The one message that I got from this movie is one that has been out there for quite some time but the problem today is that many people don’t care unless they are the ones going through it. That message is that you never know what someone else is going through. Sometimes it’s only just a matter of time and for the Joker, in this movie, the chain of events that he went through was the last straw. That doesn’t mean of course that we should all go around turning into the Joker and killing people because we’re having a bad day but you truly just never know the mind state that people are in. Arthur Fleck never knew happiness in his life. There are real life people facing those struggles today! Some of those people are able to get the necessary help that they need, others are not as fortunate. Arthur was seeking help and taking medication but unfortunately the system failed him and from that point on everything began to spiral and he had reached a turning point.
There are a lot more topics that can be discussed but for the sake of not spoiling the movie that’s all i’m going to touch base on. With that being said, if you’re looking for actual comedy or your typical DC Universe movie setting (based off of my experience) then you probably won’t like this movie very much. This is less super hero vs. villian and more struggles of an ordinary (but troubled) man turned villian. I think you’ll have a better understanding of the story if you keep that in mind.