I want to start this review by talking about myself, which seems counterproductive but here goes. Personally, wherever I am or whatever I do, I am keenly aware of the types of people around me. One, so I know who is around me, and two, I’ve found that I can learn a lot from people who don’t look like me or have taken a different path in life than I have. More of that notion that I hold near to me about knowing a little bit about a lot of things. Another thing about me is that I pride myself on treating everyone around me like I would my family, unless you’ve proven you don’t deserve that treatment. This is one of the lessons of this film.
I learned a lot from watching Arthur struggle with his own mental condition, being fired from his job, and him having to take care of his ailing mother who still believes that John Wayne will come to save her family. Arthur’s life in this movie is someone’s life right now, and that’s the unsettling factor of this film. I think that’s another reason why this movie is so compelling.
To make another point, we’ve seen so many comedians like Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, and more who have suffered some type of depression. The makeup of a clown hides its tears and pain which we get a clear picture of in this film. Although I don’t condone violence, in watching this film, I do see how someone, in any mental capacity, could break like Arthur did and I don’t blame him for lashing out. Now, he chose murder and a person in his mental state should NEVER have a gun but movie. We have to go for the extreme.
You know what I think is sad? I think it’s sad that it took for a movie like Joker to really grab the attention of Americans and the complicated nature of mental illness. It takes many forms and not everyone’s condition is like Arthur’s. Now, Joker is a movie, so again, we have to go for the extreme, but think about the people around you right now or the people you know. Is anyone like Arthur screaming at people for help who don’t listen? The entertainment in this film is to watch how Joker became as disturbed as he was but the lesson in it is to pay attention. Arthur was lucky in the fact that he had someone to talk to and had his card that he could give to people to explain his condition but not everyone does. As a matter of fact, I’m sure only a small percentage does. So as a society, what aren’t we paying attention to and why?
Another issue tackled in this film is the killing of the rich movement. Amid this pandemic, we’ve seen a definitive line drawn between the rich and the poor. The access the rich have versus the poor. The money the rich have been able to stack while the poor continue to lose things, jobs, housing, benefits, etc. The Joker is literally killing people but there are people everywhere around the country trying to kill the capitalist system in which our country was built on. But how do we do that?
To the people of the DCU, if you want to beat Marvel, do more case study movies like this one. I’ve said this before in my rant about why DC movies are awful. Marvel always makes sure there is some grounding in real life that pulls us in. That’s what we love about the movies. We feel like we can be in the movies while superhero stuff is going on around us. The DCU seems to be missing the grounding but in Joker, they hit the nail on the head! This is gold! This is what we want. Maybe not to be sad the entire movie but add some jokes and y’all can do it!