A new take on “Joker”

Tea Wheat, Entertainment Writer

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Batman is one of the most famous superheroes of all time. And what comes with a superhero? A supervillain, and Batman might have the most famous supervillain of all time: the Joker.

However, unless you read the comics and know where he came from, the casual fan doesn’t know much about the Joker, except that he’s evil. Todd Phillips gives us a background story that goes much deeper into the villain than expected with Joker.

The movie starts out with Arthur Fleck sitting down in front of a mirror, painting himself up as clown, which is his job. He then starts to force his mouth into a smile until he is satisfied. Then the scene shifts to him dancing outside of a furniture store that is going out of business. Fleck is dressed up and dancing outside the store to try and convince people to buy for “Everything Must Go” according to his sign. However, some kids decide to steal Fleck’s sign, causing him to chase after them. When he finally thinks he catches up with them, he gets hit upside the head with his sign and is then kicked by the kids while he lays on the floor.

The next scene is in a social services worker’s office who tries to help Arthur work through his emotions. Before the two can actually exchange words we see Fleck laughing. His laugh would turn into a cough and then go back to laughing. We learn later on that it is a condition of Arthur’s that is most commonly found in people with a neurotic problem. Arthur dreams of being a stand-up comedian and while the socialservice worker asks him to keep a journal, Arthur also puts jokes in there to use for his stand-up.

When the first trailer dropped for Joker, I knew that I had to go see this film. I’ve watched the Dark Knight Trilogy so many times and, as a result, seen Heath Ledger’s performance of the Joker. The trailers showed that this film would get back to the core of the Joker, which is his insanity. The Joker was meant to be an insane, psychotic, narcissistic villain and while Ledger’s performance was outstanding, it lacked that insane and narcissistic vibe that is essential to the Joker. Joaquin Phoenix played the role brilliantly bringing the vibes Joker has been missing. While the movie itself wasn’t scary, this origins story brings with it a very realistic and scary possibility of someone who, when their mental illnesses aren’t treated correctly can become a danger to both themselves and those around them. Multiple times throughout the film, they talk about mental illnesses and the lack of support that they are getting in Gotham, which is also true of our world today.

If you haven’t seen the film yet, that’s understandable as it just came out, but I highly recommend that you give it a watch. The film has a 9.1/10 from IMDb and a 69 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Joker has everything including romance, action, mental illness awareness and clowns. If you are a fan of Batman and want to look at the his greatest villain’s origins or if you are looking for a good movie to watch over Fall Break, look no further.

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