Joker Movie Review

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Joker Movie Review

Emma Morton, Editor in Chief

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The opinions, viewpoints, and beliefs expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the opinions, viewpoints, or beliefs of the Titan Times newspaper, Tuscarora High School or Frederick County Public Schools.

 

Warning! This article contains spoilers for the Joker movie.

 

Everyone expected the Joker movie to be controversial from the minute the trailer came out. The primary concerns stemmed from the idea of making audiences sympathize with a psychopathic serial killer. From the beginning, the audience is introduced to a mentally ill and rather pathetic man, named Arthur, who works as a hired party clown and suffers from a neurological condition that makes him laugh uncontrollably in inappropriate situations. During a gig as a clown advertising for a store, Arthur is jumped by a group of teens. This occurs five minutes into the movie, making for a very sudden and somewhat overwhelming introduction. Around this time, the audience is introduced to Arthur’s mother, who also seems to have mental issues, including an obsession with a Gotham celebrity named Thomas Wayne. 

After his attack, Arthur’s coworker gives him a gun, despite the fact that Arthur is not supposed to own any weapons due to his mental issues. Arthur, not knowing how to handle himself with the weapon, brings it with him when he performs at a children’s hospital. This results in him losing his job. On his way home on the subway, Arthur is jumped again on the subway because he couldn’t stop laughing, due to his condition. This event seemed out of place, due to the fact that the exact same thing had happened to him days before. This time, however, Arthur shot and killed the three men that jumped him, which caused a series of class-related riots amongst the city. The plot seemed repetitive in this instance, but despite this the narrative improved as the movie progressed.

After Arthur’s mother claims that Thomas Wayne was actually Arthur’s father, Arthur visits his house wanting to speak to him. There, he meets a child named Bruce Wayne. In case you haven’t made the connection yet, Bruce Wayne is the child who eventually becomes Batman, meaning that the Joker had a close relationship with his family since Batman’s childhood. I found this, while it was a cool connection, to be very unrealistic. The odds of one of the biggest superhero/supervillian duos having been that closely related decades prior and never knowing are very slim. However, I do have a lot of appreciation for the way they framed the connection.

Arthur, after being made fun of on his favorite show for a failed comedy act, is invited on said show and given the opportunity to meet his idol. He arrives, after killing two more people, dressed as a clown. He then proceeds to give a speech confessing to the murder of the three men on the subway, and claiming that he thought it was funny. This is the part of the movie that I most admired, as it effectively showed the quick and dramatic spiral in Joker’s character development. This is the moment when Arthur descends into insanity and transforms into the notorious and insane Joker that we all know and love.

As a whole, I would rate the movie four out of five stars, losing one star simply because of drastic and unrealistic plotlines and repetitive events. As for the concern about the audience feeling bad for the Joker, this movie certainly does so effectively. However, I would not consider this to be a bad thing because it helps to provide new perspective to Joker fans as to how he fell into his villainous role.

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