SPOILERS AHEAD AS A FAIR WARNING
Joker is probably one of the most needed movies of our time and place. While critics were saying that it went too far, I believe the movie explained it what was needed perfectly. It put us on edge and told the story of probably one of the most loved criminals in movie history. Now I do not think it was what people expected from what they had heard, but for what the movie is, which is telling the story behind the Joker, it is superb.
The Joker/Arthur Fleek starts as a story of a truly mentally deranged individual and explains what brings him to the breaking point. We follow the story of this mentally unstable individual, who is trying to fit in to society. He shows this health issue, where he uncontrollably laughs. The worst part of this is that everyone thinks he is insane, which shows how society really does deal with mental illness.
An interesting moment of this is when they tie in this movie with Batman. They made references about how Arthur knows Bruce Wayne and John Wayne, and the idea that Arthur’s mom, who is also mentally very unstable, claimed that John is really his father and that they were in love. It adds to the derangement that Arthur has experienced throughout his entire life.
Now in the movie, there are key moments that display his mental illness, from his uncontrollable laughter to him imagining that this powerful man was his father to him ending up killing those two men to him imagining that his neighbour was in love with him. Where it all begins to boil over is when his idol, Murray Franklin, goes on his talk show making fun of Arthur's comedy routine when Arthur couldn’t get through a simple joke without laughing. Murray called Arthur a joker, thinking that anyone could really get up and do stand-up.
Arthur became the Joker once he got the invite from Murray to go on The Murray Show. That’s when he snapped finally. He transforms himself into the character he always has pictured himself to be, the embodiment of the Joker. After this transformation, he seems almost free but at the same time derailed.
He goes on the show as the Joker and shows his true self. Eventually Murray started telling Arthur how wrong he is, how messed up he is. And that’s when the line is said, the brilliant line that echoes so true in todays world. Arthur says, “The worst part of having mental illness is that people expect you to behave as if you don’t.” After this he kills Murry and sends the entire city into a downward spiral as everyone agrees with his actions.
People were saying how this movie was too disturbed for people, but really there is nothing overly graphic in this release, but the original cut would have been an even higher rating than R. In the ending of the movie, there is a scene where the Joker is on top of a car and takes the blood from his wounds to paint a smile on his face. In the original cut, the Joker still puts a smile on his face, just instead of painting it on he cuts it into his face with a razor blade.
This movie is so important because it shows how the outside world perceives mental illness a lot of times. Even though now the conversation has opened a lot more than it used to, but there is still such a stigma around it that those who suffer need to blend in more so. Yes, it was an interesting way in showing how someone with mental illness may feel, but the underlying message remains the same. Those with mental disorders are tired of trying to fit in to a society that rejects them. I feel like people did not like this movie because it spoke a certain truth that we have been forced to hide for so many years.
It is a truly amazing movie, and once old enough, everyone should watch it.