The Joker is the first film on the most infamous and dangerous villain in the world of superhero films released last Friday. This has created a lot of controversy in America.
Also, the film has earned over 248 million dollars, earning the best at the box office. The film, based on the story of Batman’s arch-enemy Joker, had raised concerns about security agencies when the army issued an alert for a shootout on the film’s release.
However, no such incident took place when the film was released.
Seven years ago, a man was shot dead in Aurora, Colorado, during a show in the Batman film’s last release, The Dark Knight Rises. In that attack, 12 people were killed and 70 were injured.
The Joker film was not shown in the theater of Aurora. This was done on the appeal of the families of the victims of the previous accident.
The families of the victims also wrote a letter to the film’s production company Warner Brothers. They appealed to the company to give money to groups helping the victims killed in the shootout. At the same time, the candidates who voted against the gun reform were demanded not to give political donations.
An American magazine wrote in the letter to The Hollywood Reporter, “We appeal to you to stand by those corporate leaders who believe they have a social responsibility to protect us all.”
A relative of a victim said that the film reminded him of James Holmes, who was given life imprisonment for the massacre.
Sandy Phillips, who lost her 24-year-old daughter Jessica Gavi in the shootout, told the Hollywood Reporter, “I don’t have to watch Holmes’ film.” I only saw the promo of the Joker movie, just like I saw the picture of the killer.”
Cinemas in many other US cities have announced that visitors will be barred from wearing masks, wearing face paints or wearing a costume to watch the film.
However, during superhero films, this is the common practice of people getting dressed like this.
A kind of fear
The Joker is the story of Arthur Flake, a mentally ill comedian whose professional and personal life accidents push him into the world of crime.
The film has horrific scenes of violence and some film critics in the US have accused director Phillips of glorifying the story of Arthur Flake.
Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair Magazine wrote, “This film can be an irresponsible promotion of someone being very mean.”
Lawson asks, “Is the Joker worth celebrating or scary? Or is there no difference between these two?”
Director Todd Phillips and actor Joaquin Phoenix do not agree that the Joker is sympathetic to the film’s violence.
Todd Phillips said that he was surprised by such a controversy about the film.
In an interview during the promotion of the film, he said, “This film shows the lack of love, bad childhood experiences and lack of empathy in the world. I think people can understand this message. For me, art means it has to be complicated. If you want easy art, then you can go towards Calligraphy. “
What did phoenix say?
In an interview on The Entertainment, an entertainment news website, Phillips blamed the Left for the controversy.
Actor Joaquin Phoenix left the interview in which he was asked questions related to the promotion of violence.
He defended the film and said, “It was surprising to me to see how easily the leftists, as per their agenda, speak like the rightists. It was an eye-opener for me in the whole matter about this film.”
He said, “People misinterpret the meaning of the lyrics of the songs. They misinterpret what is written in books. Therefore it is the responsibility of the filmmaker to tell the audience the difference between right and wrong.”
The actor also said that he is enjoying the ‘trouble’ caused by the film.
He said, “I think it’s good when the film makes you uncomfortable or forces you to think differently. I’m happy about it. That’s why I wanted to do this film because it wasn’t going to be easy for me.”
Attraction to villains
The casting for the film added to the controversy. Joaquin Phoenix is known for her sensitive approach to her work and in the film, she seems to be in good form as a popular super villain.
Like the anti-hero Darth Vader in the movie Joker or Star War, people’s attraction towards the villain also played a role in this controversy.
Psychologist Travis Langley on American radio station KOA said, “We can understand this desire for villainy. We would like to think somewhere about what we would do if we were not bound by boundaries.”
Langley writes, “Villains run these kinds of stories because the hero is a reacting character here. The hero reacts to them only after the villain does something.”
What happened on showing Villain in earlier films also did not help the Joker’s negative popularity.
Heath Ledger, who played the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008), died of drug overdoses after the film’s release.
Ledger did so well that he was awarded the Oscar post for Best Supporting Actor in 2009. This is a special honor for superhero films. But after his death, rumors also spread that he was scared of his character.
These rumors got further air after the comment of Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in the 1989 Batman production.
Upon receiving Ledger’s death, Nicholson said, “I warned him.”
Warner Bros. issued a statement refusing the Romanization of Batman’s revenge.
The company had said, “Make no mistake: Neither the fictional character Joker nor the film support any form of violence in the real world.”
People who work on mental health have also expressed concern about the way mental illness is shown in the film. In the past, ways of showing mental illness have been discussed in Hollywood.
According to the British charity ‘Time to Change’, which works against the discrimination related to psychiatry, due to the conservatism about psychiatry, there is no change in society.
Julie Evans, the charity’s head of communications, told the BBC, “We have already seen some changes in the practice of showing ill-treatment to psychiatrists in films, but the history of misrepresenting them is very old. To show them in a very dramatic way is to give the wrong information to the audience.”
Tim Snelson, a lecturer in film studies at the University of East Angela, is working on a project about cinema and mental health.
Tim Snelson says that Hollywood is replete with examples showing mental health and violence as a myth. Even if he has reached a state of psychosis due to some bad experience.
Though he said so, seeing the trailer, it was felt that something is interesting in the film. Also, it is good that a discussion has started on how to show Maniac diseases in the films.
However, the Joker film has done very well at the box office. It has an existing rating of 90% on the review website ‘Rotten Tomatoes.’
Earlier this month, Joker has won the top award at The Venice Film Festival. Its screening has been given an eight-minute long standing ovation.