At times it feels like the end of the world with COVID-19 and its economic consequences, #BlackLivesMatter, police brutality and (systemic) racism within our society. Oh, and there is also this thing called climate change and global warming. So I thought, sure why not watch the Joker.
We all know the Joker, one of the main villains of Batman and portrayed by many actors including Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Mark Hamill. One can say that playing Joker is one’s Hamlet, everyone will get a chance to play it and this time it was Joaquin Phoenix his turn. However this time the story is told differently.
With Joker we don’t see the bad guy as we are used to in previous incarnations, this time we see him as Arthur Fleck a weak struggling artist, trying to make ends meet for himself and his sick mom. We also get to see a Gotham City which is corrupt and on the brink of collapsing and then… suddenly… a new anti-hero rises.
The Joker is a villain who will go very far to achieve the results he is after, but we have never seen him portrayed as somewhat of a hero. This movie makes you sympathize with the (poor) man. And when Gotham City is about to erupt into a small civil war, a symbol is all you need to start the riots.
It might be a coincidence, but after watching the movie I saw similarities with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. You see people being fed up with the current system and demanding change and it are the actions of Arthur which eventually become a catalyst for change. You might even say that he becomes the symbol of oppression in Gotham City. And it is this which the movie does well, it shows the suffering of the people and how just the slightest of actions can cause a ripple effect…