Jokes on You if You Skip Out on Joker

Joker juggles fear, tension and humour effortlessly, leaving its audience confused, thrilled and hungry for more. Joker is a film you can not leave behind in the theatre. It follows you home and clouds your thoughts. You leave this cinematic masterpiece overwhelmed with ethical questions and completely puzzled by what was reality and what was delusion.

Joker opened in theatres on October 4th and for the first time in a very long time, DC Films has produced a cinematic masterpiece. DC Films accomplished this seemingly impossible comeback by straying from both conventional superhero movie archetypes and the typical joker storyline.

To say it simply: Joker is not your typical movie. It’s the rare gem that hits your local Cineplex so hard that it shakes up Hollywood and dents film history, topping thousands of comic book fans’ lists of favourite movies.

Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, who brings you into the main character’s world flawlessly. He makes you feel his character’s pain and then drowns you in the devastatingly dismal situation.

In addition to star power, this story is presented with an absolutely beautiful colour palette and dramatic camera angles. But the film doesn’t stop there. As if flawless mechanical cinematic devices, breathtaking acting and a solid script weren’t enough, Joker forces reflection on its audience. It demands the audience to ask themselves “how do I contribute to the creation of real-life Jokers? What warning signs do we miss in people? How do we fail to provide support to those that desperately need it?”

There’s no doubt that the Joker is a dangerous sociopath, but it’s inappropriate to point at this movie and claim that it encourages violence. Movies are violent. Superhero movies are especially violent (are we really going to pretend that Deadpool isn’t a graphic gore-fest?).

Joker certainly has violent moments. These moments present themselves as a mentally ill man standing up for himself in a world that wants to steamroll him. The issue we take with the Joker is that he’s not one of us. The average audience member relates more with the characters that ostracize characters like the Joker. That’s why we can watch Deadpool and laugh along with relatable Wade, but shutter when we see Phoenix’s Joker take a stand for himself. When we see the Joker get revenge on characters that we relate with more than we do with him – we become afraid. I strongly believe that there’s a place for that fear. We should take it upon ourselves to stop ostracizing people unlike us.

In summary (with no spoilers): go see Joker. Let it challenge your world view and capture you in all the emotions that Joaquin Phoenix perfectly lays out in his performance. Dare to find out what you get when you cross a mentally-ill loner with a system that treats him like trash, and then refuse to accept the answer this film presents to you.