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If any of you have seen the new movie Joker, which was released on October 4th, you would know it isn’t the supervillain movie you were looking for. Instead, the movie’s plot aligns more with a modern world that has normal people who face normal problems. No superheroes included. The main character, Arthur Fleck, is portrayed as a troubled young man, still living with his mother and just trying to live every day with the effects of a disorder that makes him laugh uncontrollably. I think this was a great way to include the Joker’s features into a more modern societal approach. What is so odd about this Joker movie is that the writers make you sympathize with the Joker. You get so invested into his perspective that you’re plugged into empathizing with his misery. 

Arthur Fleck gets harassed multiple times, beaten up, and faced with the difficulties of having a sick mother and a sickness of his own. On top of that, the character is mentally unstable and struggles with anger issues which become more volatile as the society around him pushes him closer to a breaking point. The more that happens to him, the more he starts to develop into the true character of the Joker. This sort of perspective allows us to see the progression of the character and understand the emotions behind all the rage. He develops a twisted justification for his actions, which is actually unjustified.

 Instead, the development of Arthur Fleck’s character seems like an approach to sympathize with sociopathic characters in society today. In my view it seems like Joker was attempting to represent current stigmas on mental health and then revealing to viewers how their own actions could potentially affect another person. This movie by no means glorifies violence, and those who got the impression of this might not have considered the fantastical world it was based on or seen the underlying message in the film.

Overall, my opinion of the movie is that it was great. I was focused on the movie during the whole two-hours and felt myself empathizing with such a misrepresented character. It was almost an awful feeling when I noticed my empathy towards this antagonist, but at the same time when you take a step back and understand some of the messages that were present it becomes understandable. Joker left an impression on me about mental health stigmas in society today and how we should continuously try our best as a society to leave judgments aside and not to cause trouble without considering our actions effects on others. This is my opinion, though, as many people have different impressions from the movie. I highly recommend it for a movie day! (Oh, and you don’t have to be into superhero movies to enjoy this! So, don’t feel left out if you’re not caught up in the DC comic book world.)


Kalli Majewski

Augustana '21

Studying Pre-Med/Neuroscience with minors in Biochemistry and Philosophy. Loves to cook, travel, write, listen, and goof around!
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