Not a joke

So, we saw Joker yesterday. I went in expecting a typical comic book film filled with action and larger than life characters.

What I got, though, wasn’t that. What I got was a disturbing, deeply troubling movie about a man who needed help in the face of a cruel, careless society. A man who was victimised over and over again. A soft soul twisted into something lost and desperate, someone who “didn’t even know he existed” until he went over the edge and was finally seen in his most intense moment. And all around him were people feeling the same way. A movie about mental health, about confusion, about illness and the poor ways in which we deal with it. A movie about the disenfranchised and what happens when they’re finally pushed too far.

We couldn’t even talk abut the film for the first half hour after we left it.

Am I glad I saw it? Yes. It’s a brilliantly acted film with a sociological message that resonates very strongly right now. It’s one-thirty in the morning and I’m kept awake by the haunting message of a society in chaos. But be aware that if you go see it, (and you should), you’re not getting typical comic book villains. You’re getting a dystopian vision of what happens when we fail each other as human beings.

3 thoughts on “Not a joke

  1. Great insights. I already had an inkling that this would be well-written and well-performed piece of dark, psychological film, whose protag-antag happens to be a comic book character. With all the hoopla surrounding the underlying factors about what/who Joker represents in today’s society, which has given me pause because, it could be misconstrued as Joker’s behaviour justifying all the mass murders committed by so-called “misunderstood” Caucasian blokes who’d later be labelled as having mental health issues. Like their killings are somewhat justified because the society, at large, sometimes only women (ffs!), somehow caused these individuals to kill. That, in and of itself, is giving me pause. I’m confident that Joaquin Phoenix, Todd Philips did a fab job in this film. I’m just weary that it might be (mis)used as a licence to kill. What say you, especially after watching it – with an eye to real-life societal happenings instead of film critique?

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    1. That’s a great question, Bugs, and to be honest I hadn’t considered the aspect of justification. Someone on my FB page said it was a justification of murdering people.

      I don’t think it justifies anything, though. I think it shines a light on an ugly, destructive aspect of society, and it certainly doesn’t *excuse* any violent behaviour. It doesn’t give anyone the right to hurt others. But I think it does show what happens when people get angry; and there are all colours of people in the clown masks in the crowd.

      I think if white dudes want to find something in a movie/situation to excuse their behaviour, they will. But for the rest of us, there’s a message that can’t be ignored.

      Thanks for making me think deeper. 😁

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      1. Well, unfortunately in this climate we’re in, there’s a kind of responsibility that the media/entertainment should really think hard on because that’s how people’s minds are changed and perspectives altered – through depictions. Art does that. I was also thinking, what if they made a movie with similar psychological/mental health connotations like what Joker and the others had to go through with how society perceived and treated them, only this time, the protag/antag were a suicide bomber, a brown-skinned Muslim, going through the same thing as Joker did all throughout his life before finally snap. I wonder if people would feel the same, then… Oh well…

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