The Reasons Behind the Backlash Against “The Joker” Movie.

Last week, the new Joker movie was officially released in theaters. In my personal opinion, it was one of the best cinematic productions in the history of film.

I’ve seen it three times in its opening week because it was just simply that great. It broke records by taking in over 272 MILLION DOLLARS. And through the millions that attended the release, many were throughly impressed like myself, but as always in this day and age, plenty of people found something to be upset about with it.

There was a petition to boycott the movie. The military was even issuing statements about not going because they thought situations similar to the Dark Night Rises scenario in Aurora, Colorado would occur. But since the movie has been released, a lot of people have criticized the film for being “too dark” and “not right for the public”. Which got me scratching my head considering the state of the world we live in today, there are much worse things than this movie.

Then, I had a few ideas as to why such a well put together picture was being opposed.

  1. THE COMPARISON TO HEATH LEDGER: I was one of many who thought that there would never ever top Heath Ledger’s performance as the joker. I cant say that Joaquin Phoenix did or didn’t because their performances are based on two completely different backgrounds of the character Joker himself. Ledger’s was a post chaos, known villain with a legacy and an army of goons that was already profoundly addressed. Phoenix’s Joker was based off of NOT A SINGLE comic book and was an origin story about how the Joker came to be. So, truly, there is nothing to compare.
  2. NOT YOUR TYPICAL FICTIONAL CHARACTER MOVIE: This movie had a lot of texture to it. It was more of a fictional drama and tense vibe than an exciting super hero vs super villain plot. It was slow and didn’t pick up a lot of action until towards the end. Some people hated the sadness and that the progression wasn’t all based of super hero like feuds.
  3. SOCIETY CAN’T HANDLE HOW REALISTIC IT WAS. Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Arthur Fleck (the Joker) was so incredibly real. He actually spent weeks in a New York mental institution to learn from patients and starved himself to get himself in the truest mental, emotional and physical state of someone who suffers from severe mental illness. He showed us someone who had a prior known disorder, that was just trying to be a good person despite that, and got taken advantage of and beat down by society. With the disrespect he was shown and the fact that he was an adopted child who was brutally abused and grew up with one woman who let that happen to him. Then gets hated at his job, and gets laughed at for pursuing his dreams. It proves that every person alive has a breaking point and can only take so much. After all that man had been through, it tortured his mind so much that he went insane and twisted his view of reality to then become a murderer and anarchist. The human mind is a fragile thing and I think this movie did a tragically beautiful job representing that. Society today doesn’t want to face the fact that when people who need help are only abandoned and further abused, all that is possible is whatever happens to be the worst imaginable.

I loved the Joker and will stand by my opinion on it. You must be open minded, and have a high tolerance for dark situations and experiences, but it was jaw droppingly graphic and gave a perfect description as to how an infamous villain such as the Joker would have realistically came to be. My rating on the movie, a resounding 11/10.

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Written by benfiore

Sports writer for Thoughts From the Bench. Specializing in NBA and UFC coverage. Author of the NBA focused column, "Beyond the Arc". Bridging the gap between comedy and accurate sports content for your enjoyment.

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