Todd Phillips’s “Joker” has drawn the attention of the movie critics all over the world, due to its dark movie plot and potential catalyzing ingredients of a social chaos. The character “Joker” portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix is still the best performance till the year to the worldwide movie critics despite having some concerning elements inside the movie. Not going to the comparison between Heath ledger’s Joker and this new Joker of Joaquin phoenix, there are other vital elements concerning the aftermath of the movie that people are more worried about.
“Joker” is a movie portraying the establishment of an anarchist, Arthur fleck, from a normal clown life, living with his mother. It’s a story of a clown having a mental “condition” called ‘Pseudobulbar Affect’ who’s also been troubled emotionally by society. As the story goes by, he was severely suffering from social trauma and facing difficulties with his comedian career. It rises to an extreme level when he fell in some sort of delusion about his true identity.
The biggest catch from the movie is that the villain we used to know is not the true villain. It’s the society. The corruption, neo-fascism, social dysphoria of the city Gotham, drove a man into a violent and nihilistic life. Astoundingly, he became the symbol of thousands of the citizens of the city. Which quickly fetches great anarchy to the society.
Figure 1 “V for vendetta”
“Joker” doesn’t look too far from films which exposed social anarchies, like “V for vendetta”, “Behold a pale horse”, “Anarchist from the colony”, “The Purge”, “The Anarchist Cookbook” and so on. We have seen enough elements in the movie that might light upon the fuming, paranoid and emotionally troubled people who might become reasons for social chaos, just like Arthur.
We cannot totally overlook the possibility of another social anarchy inspired from the character as the aftermath of the movie “V for vendetta” showed some serious cases earlier.
Anonymous, an Internet-based group, has adopted the mask, which had been used in the movie, as the symbol of the movement. During Project Chanology’s protests against the Church of Scientology in 2008, members were seen putting the mask on their face. (source: Wikipedia)
Figure 2 Photo during Project Chanology’s protests
According to Time, the protesters’ adoption of the mask had become the top-selling mask on Amazon.com. Since the release of the film, hundreds of thousands of masks from the film have been sold every year.
Jim Geraghty of National Review expressed his concerns about the aftermath of the movie on twitter- “I’m worried that a certain segment of America’s angry, paranoid, emotionally unstable young men will watch Joaquin Phoenix descending into madness and a desire to get back at society by hurting as many people as possible and exclaim, “finally, somebody understands me!”
Security had been taken newly under concern already in different cities for the release of “joker” on Friday. Police in several major US cities has said they will closely monitor theaters playing the new movie.
According to Deadline, a Hollywood website reported that New York City policemen would also be positioned inside some movie theaters, citing an unnamed law enforcement official. Meanwhile, movie theaters have also taken certain precautions. Costumes and face masks have been banned for moviegoers at some large cinemas in NY.
Keeping all the controversies aside, “Joker” is already on its way to do a huge business worldwide with the new characterization of Joker. Joaquin Phoenix deserves the tribute.