Last night, I was privileged to see “Joker.” at the local Event Cinema. I must admit, I was treated to what I would see as a masterclass of cinema. When I was studying film it was always described as “Art in the purest sense.”
With this film we are treated to a side of the Batman universe we have never seen before; in the past a live action take of the worlds most famous villain would have been scuffed at by audiences.
Don’t assume this film hasn’t been met with a level of backlash as movie theatres in the USA had put on extra security during screenings to ensure that no unruly behaviour would take place… And to give my opinion I can see why considering what happened when the Dark Knight was released.
Before you read anymore, I will be writing spoilers in this so if you read further you have either seen the film, or am okay with having plot points spoilt.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
okay. So jumping straight into it; This movie revolves around a one Arthur Fleck, A man struggling to find his own peace in a Chaotic world; the film opens with Arthur laughing to himself, quickly transitioning to him getting ready to work as a clown for a small entertainment company. In this scene, we see two things: 1) Arthur is clearly not fearing very well, with the opening shot showing us he is battling demons. 2) He is struggling to make ends meat in a world that doesn’t care.
Arthur is working on the street, twirling a sign and dancing to try and get the attention of people talking bye; He is then attacked by a group of teenagers on the street who wanted nothing more then to ruin someones day.
This scene straight away told me where this movie would be heading, and this moment is illustrated later on in the film; Through out this production Arthur himself constantly makes statements like “Is it just me or is the world just getting crazier?” There is a moment shortly after the scene featuring the teenagers where he is talking with his social worker, this is the first time he really opens up about it all, asking the social worker to request the doctor to increase his medication. The Social worker requests to see Arthur’s notebook, reminding him that he had been asked before to bring it to their sessions. He pulls the notebook out of his bag and she opens the book, its this moment we see how much work Arthur has really put into trying to find mental stability. It is also shown in that moment that Arthur has had serious thoughts of his own death with the camera focusing on a line in the text “I hope my death is more memorable then my life.” It is this moment (and very early, about 15 minutes into this film) that we see how much this man in struggling to find his place in the world.
I don’t intend on telling the entire story of this film, but the points I want to express is how all of us are representative of the joker, each and everyone of us is trying to find our place in the chaos that is the modern world. Though from my perspective its the world it self that is insane Arthur only later matches the madness later in the film.
I felt watching this film that all of us, be it mentally ill or A-Typical still find the world to be a chaotic place. At times we are all overwhelmed, it does at times feel like the world is watching us, making fun of us. The biggest difference here is that the Joker himself lives out the phantasm we all keep deep in side, where we deny life to such impulses he lets it live and breath. Claiming that killing the people on the train (its a big turning point in this film.) was horrible but it didn’t bother him at all.
I feel this film does a fantastic job telling/showing us a side of humanity that we don’t see all that often. Where we are told and taught to focus on the good of the world, we will often deny the bad from existing until faced with it head on. In this film we are forced to pay attention, made to feel his pain and encouraged to feel the liberation he experiences when he murders the man who cost him his job, his career and his ability to support his disabled mother.
Do not go and see this film expecting a cheap laugh you will get from the avengers franchise, you will be emotionally effected by this film, and it will stay with you for days after seeing it.
Anyway, Hope you are doing well.