The Joker shines light on villians


Fatima Sayed Eltayeb, Staff Writer

The highly anticipated Joker movie shed a completely different side to the villain we all know. The standalone film centers around the story behind Arthur Fleck who is portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix. Fleck is a hire-by-day clown and endeavors to become a stand-up comedian by night.

Fleck walks around Gotham being bullied, harassed, and beaten, and ignored by society.

He suffers from many illnesses that cause him to get nervous and laugh uncontrollably which gets him into many situations throughout the movie. He’s looked down upon from society and constantly rejected because of his occupation.

In the movie he is publicly humiliated by the comedian he idolized the most, Murray Franklin. This causes his life to spiral downwards since he had also been cut-off from his medication.

His life starts to center around violence, chaos, and hostility. He eventually turns into Gotham’s infamous Joker. 

The movie paints Fleck as a helpless man who can’t change the way he is. It’s meant to make the audience feel more sympathetic towards him since he’s a known villain in the DC Comics. 

The film definitely changed my views on the Joker and being able to see what caused him to become who he is helped portray him in a different light. 

There were many somber scenes in the movie that made me feel sympathy for Fleck. Such as the scene where he is outside advertising for the store he works at by dancing and waving a sign around.

A group of teenagers snatch the sign from him and when he follows them to an alley they smash the sign over his head and beat him.

Many people question why the topic of mental illness played such a big role when it came to the characteristics of Fleck, some even thought it was controversial for mental health to be Flecks leading cause of problems.

It would only make sense for mental illness to be the leading contributor to Flecks troubles because he went through a period of time where he went untreated. 

Flecks mental illnesses aren’t controversial because when you look at someone such as the Joker it’s quite obvious that he isn’t well and that he needs help because of the way he acts out and treats people.

 Overall the movie did well in theaters, bringing in a whopping $192.7 million. Despite the 69% rating that the movie received on Rotten Tomatoes it was ranked as the #1 opening weekend movie in October. 

Hopefully in coming years we’ll be able to see more standalone films revolving around the backstories of villains since there’s always two sides to a story.