Joker: ‘Why so serious?’


The new film, “The Joker,” directed by Todd Philips made a big impact on society as cultural norms are defined throughout the movie. Although only gaining the rating of 68 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, most say Joaquin Phoenix will win an Oscar for his performance as the Joker. Within a few days of opening, the film won the Golden Lion Award, presented at the Venice Film Festival. The movie was rated R due to the bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language and brief sexual images.

The movie is about a man named Arthur Fleck who takes care of his mom and has a low paying job. Overtime, he gets bullied, harassed, and becomes lonely which turn him into the Joker we know today. He even gets called onto a talk show just to get made fun of even more.

After the movie was released, lots of controversy sparked about the safety of people and how others break cultural norms. These “others” in today’s society are compared to school shooters, drug dealers, and other threats to the world. People started to get scared of the world they live in today.

“It’s a good thing that people are being forced to confront evil in Joker,” Phoenix said in a Vanity Fair interview. He believes the cure to stop evils in the modern world starts by scaring them away from turning into the evil. Scaring people from evil prevents them from becoming evil. In the film, Fleck is said to have a mental illness which causes him to go crazy. Most people disagree as they think he is just a psychopath whose tensions got aggravated living in modern day world and being harrassed.

“I used to think my life was a tragedy,” Fleck says sinisterly, “but now I realize it’s a comedy.” This quote was a stand out in the trailer and the movie. It talks about his life before and after the Joker and how it can happen to anyone. These ideas from the movie are scaring people all around the world as anyone can become the Joker. The slightest teasing can set off a person to do horrible things. Due to this, in a way we are all “others” in society. These “others” could one day rise up to be the greatest man to live or they could become like Fleck and throw it all the way.

All Fleck wanted before his change was some respect. He was a clown for hire who twirled a sign on the street and went to a hospital to cheer up kids. He made kids smile, dance, and laugh, and all he gets back from that is being harassed. The real criminals are the people that bullied him, in this case, us. We, privileged people, were the reason why Fleck turned into the Joker. This can relate to today as well; being harassed and bullied can lead to a horrible depressed life.

Hopefully, the sequel will be released, and we will see Phoenix play the Joker again. It will be another thought provoking film in order to make us think about our actions. This movie gives the viewer lots to think about. It’s meant to be a movie based on a comic series, but actually talks about politics and how people are treated today, It allows us to become better people and think about what we do before doing it.