The new Joker movie handles mental health well
Wow. What a film. Joker hit the big screen last weekend – needless to say it made an immediate impact with fans from across the globe rushing to watch their favourite psychopath in his own film. This article may contain minor spoilers.
Some were not aware of what this film was going to be about, expecting it to be a violent bloodbath from start to finish. Sorry to disappoint those of you who had those thoughts, but for those who knew what to expect I trust you were not disappointed.
The problem is people see the Joker as this crazy violent psycho – which he is but precious few really take the time to appreciate how he came to be. Not many think about his story – remember everyone has a story explaining why they are who they are, and that couldn’t be truer for Joker.
You see he was a mentally unwell man in this movie – if you are a fan of the killing joke (if you have never read it then I highly recommend it) you would have been aware of some of Joker’s tragic backstory. The film took its influence from the graphic novel, though it does put its own spin into Jokers life as Arthur.
Mental illness is so stigmatised and rarely handled in such a way on screen. This was perfection in terms of managing a delicate situation – mental health is a sensitive issue, but movies like this tackle it well.
Honestly, by the end of this film, you will be rooting for Arthur when he becomes Joker you cheer because he is done taking other people’s shit.
Throughout the entire movie, he is subjected to beatings, abuse, horrible truths, and having his last form of help for his health terminated – by none other than Thomas Wayne. He seemed like such a despicable human being who didn’t care about anyone below his class.
He tries to cope, tries to fight the growing urges but frankly by the time he dyes his hair green he straight up doesn’t give a shit anymore. The people who lose their lives in this film, dare I say, they deserved it! Each time someone lost their life, I understood Arthur, he killed in defence then when he was broken beyond repair, he killed those who wronged him. Thus, the infamous Joker was born.
The acting in this film was second to none – Joaquin Phoenix did a fantastic job portraying one man’s struggle. Watching him change to a new man by the end of this tragic tale. Robert De Niro also made his mark on this film.
I have never been a fan of Batman himself. However, I am aware of the back story to the dark knight and clown prince. After having watched part of their past, I must admit I can’t stand the Wayne family. Fans of the Batman universe are likely aware of a significant part of the ending to Joker – an end befitting of that family.
Granted Bruce Wayne is a much nicer person than Thomas Wayne – I have always been a sucker for the villains in Batman over the hero himself.
The film was darker than even I anticipated – watching Arthur struggle through his life, trying to use comedy to cope was tough. From the opening credits, I knew I was team Joker, and I was hoping those little assholes would get what was coming to them, maybe they did during the clown riots.
As the credits rolled, I felt like laughing with Joker – Arthur wasn’t there anymore – “comedy is subjective” after all.
I will give an in-depth analysis of the movie in due time – yes, there will be major spoilers!