"Joker": A Look Into Our Generation's Reality

As someone who likes to watch movies in theaters, there are just certain moments where the experience of it stays with you. When I was thirteen, I begged my parents to let me and my friends go see “Vampires Suck”— it was during the peak of all things Twilight, and it only made sense that the girl that religiously wore a fanged necklace wanted to see the newest vampire movie.

Unfortunately, to my horror, “Vampires Suck” was not the movie I thought it would be. The image of the heads of my parents sitting two rows in front of my friends and me, turning in horror at every obscene and dirty joke throughout the movie, was burned into my memory. Experiences like that will ALWAYS  stay with you, even when the plot of the movie has long faded, and in my case, the cheap Claire’s necklace with fangs has long been thrown away.

Gif courtesy of Giphy

Fast forward to today, the memory of sitting in the theatre while watching “Joker” will not be remembered with the same pre-teen fondness as “Vampires Suck.” Even while surrounded by people I trust, there is something about watching “Joker” in theaters that prevents any warm feelings.

Gif courtesy of Giphy

In a time of mass shootings, it’s hard not to be phased by the media frenzy that came from the film’s release. Across multiple social media outlets, people wrote off theses news outlets. Some people even called out a few for boosting the story so much that they were afraid that someone would act out the threat due to the media. Either way, the feeling it left behind was unsettling.

Gif courtesy of Giphy

There were reports of large bags not being allowed into theaters and movie theater employees searching bags just to be safe. While thankfully nothing happened during the showing I attended, the horrible thought that something could happen at any time made focusing on the movie hard. Any moving figure or loud cough distracted the audience. The thought of a mass shooting never being far away doesn’t allow for a movie to just be a movie, but rather a vehicle for an uneasy audience. 

Photo courtesy of March For Our Lives

The trauma of mass shootings is something that can be seen through experiences like this. For me, one of the most unsettling things to come from “Joker” was the acknowledement of the shared experience of my generation: the threat of mass shootings will tarnish the things we are meant to enjoy.