So, as you should have already realised this blog post is about the new “Joker” movie.
I’ll be totally honest with you and say that I’m even stunned at myself for this choice of mine. However, after watching the film I must say that I found it practically impossible to avoid talking about this since the movie still haunts me in a way with some weirdly creepy after-math feelings. Plus, the film has undoubtedly taken over the world and I’m serious. Where were you on Halloween night? Did you happen to notice too the massive crowd of people dressed as the Joker? Well, quite lousy versions of the “Joker” but still, those kids were brimming the streets. I mean, it was quite expected and these assumptions weren’t only based on the fact that it managed upon release to break several world-wide box office records but on a more everyday-life proof: Memes.
As sad as it may sound, we’re the generation of memes whether we like it or not and when something becomes a meme it usually means that it’s caught people’s attention in one way or the other. ‘Joker’ memes are literally dominating the internet as we speak, a whole month since the movie’s release. Why do I think that’s it? First of all, people can’t seem to stop talking about Joaquin Phoenix’s brilliant, astonishing, outstanding performance and unlike some other iconic actors’/ actresses’ performances I can see why. Surpassing -I believe – every expectation, he has achieved to leave everyone speechless and that’s agreed by every media, magazine, blog, review and human being out there. The way he managed to present the damaged, messed up persona of the “Joker” has outsmarted every single one of the previous performances which resulted in countless of memes ruthlessly teasing Jared Leto for his very average performance in the movie “Suicide Squad”. (I’m being nice)
The movie hardly got any bad reviews on the Joker’s performance but naturally the media found a way to ferociously attack the production for its ‘apparently’ excessive use of violence. Let me tell you something: the movie was indeed severely honest and raw concerning brutality and that’s connoted in a quite negative way by Steve Rose of the Guardian , in his article “‘He is a psychopath’: has the 2019 Joker gone too far?”. Well, has it? There’s a lot of sensible points being made as to how it may affect people dealing with mental health and I get that. But I think it’s the honesty of the movie that horrified people and that I know cause I experienced it myself. ‘Joker’ is not your average superhero movie where there’s excessive violence being projected however acceptable because you know… “They have superpowers and that’s fake so that’s okay”. Yet, I think what made this movie stand out and freaked people out the most is the fact that the Joker’s traditional version of the story was adjusted. The Joker doesn’t go ‘mad’ because he falls into a tank of chemical waste eventually driving him insane but in this one the ‘Joker’ is simply a human, feeling neglected, defeated and ruthlessly shattered by OUR society TODAY. The society; you, me, our friends and family live in today. That’s where the problem is; How easily we can identify ourselves with the agony and suffering that’s being portrayed in that movie. The result of that? Steve Rose highlights that “Joker is not the first comic-book movie to sympathise with the bad guy, but it is the first to do it so one-sidedly.” And I felt that. I felt that very deeply. The movie puts you in this weird place of sympathising with a killer and it’s just… weird.
And it makes you think. A lot. I felt sick after watching the movie and I was thinking about it for quite some time and I couldn’t figure out why. It gets to you cause you know it’s real and it’s not some far-fetched, space related, extremely good-looking people filled movie. I’m placing this movie on the list of the movies that I consider to be art. Cause it made feel, it made me question and it made very uncomfortable. Yes, I am one of those people who firmly and strongly believe that this is what art should do. So yeah, feel free to believe that the movie has gone too far but I challenge you to think about this again. Has it really gone too far? What’s too far? The world we live in? The people that are around us? The truth?
Written by Maria Mavri