Last week, there was a controversy in the U.S. that had nothing to do with President Trump. I’m not kidding. It was in reference to the premiere of the film Joker next Friday, October 4th. (See trailer)
In April 1940, DC Comics introduced the Joker, a bank robber with clown grandeur. However, throughout the years, the creators of Batman’s arch-enemy transformed the character into a psychopath with genocidal desires capable of the most abhorrent acts.
In the 2008 version, The Dark Knight, the Joker was played by Australian actor Heath Ledger, who died from a prescription drug overdose a few months after finishing the movie.
At that time, some media outlets attributed his death to the psychological toll that the violent nature of the Joker character took on Ledger; this, based on a New York Times interview with the actor before he died. It is worth mentioning that Ledger’s performance received more than twenty posthumous awards, including an Oscar and Golden Globe.
In contrast, the newest version of director Todd Phillips–The Hangover–is not a portrait of the violent Joker. According to an article in Rolling Stone, the movie pretends to go to the pathetic genesis of the villain. In doing so, it humanizes him and even justifies his actions as a result of his professional failure and rejection by the woman he loves. (See article).
The article also cites the Time and Vanity Fair’s critics, who consider that Phoenix’s character glorifies the profile of the mass shooters in recent history: young white men, socially inadequate, and incapable of maintaining sexual relations with women, known as incel culture.
Adding to the controversy, the British newspaper The Telegraph, reported on September 20th that the actor who plays Joker, Joaquin Phoenix, walked out of a press conference when asked if the movie had the potential to incite violence.
Apparently, the actor answered the question an hour later, after consulting with the Warner Bros publicist, and said that filmmakers are not responsible for teaching morals. Really? You are influencing an entire generation, but is not your responsibility?
Meanwhile, the director Phillips has defended his movie as an artistic product, and accused the radical left media of targeting his film to fit their political agenda for gun control policies. Looks like the social justice warriors are eating their own now.
The vast publicity, whether positive or negative that Joker has received, will probably guarantee big numbers at the box office, regardless of law enforcement warnings during the shows.
In my case, I won’t see it. Not because of what critics say, but because long ago I stopped enjoying the clownish productions that Hollywood considers entertainment. If I want to see misery and human suffering, all I have to do is watch the news. Reality surpasses fiction ever time.
Thank you for reading and sharing.