After toddler mishaps and botched plans, I finally got a night out to the movies. I honestly can't remember the last time I even went to the movies. The Cinemark on Harrison Ave, as many of you probably already know, has been completely redone on the inside. I was getting my enormous tub of popcorn before I went in and was amazed at how nice the place looked. I mentioned to the cashier "wow this place is totally different, it looks nice," she just smiled and said, "enjoy your movie, sir," my enthusiasm may not have been shared, but I didn't care. I was at the movies.
Whenever a good Batman story is told, regardless of what medium, there is always an undertone of darkness. That is the essence of Gotham City, of Batman, and the star of tonight's show, Joker. Batman is a hero who is flawed, and because of this, he doesn't always make the right decision. More importantly, however, it keeps things interesting. Superman has struggled with this his entire life. I am sorry Supe's, but you know it's true, you're a boy scout.
Christopher Nolan, in my opinion, is the one who finally conveyed this onto the big screen with his Batman trilogy. It had been done before in comic books, but let's face it, they're comic books. Even if it's a Batman movie, it all just seems a little more real watching it on the big screen. In the Joker movie, maybe even a little too real.
I'm sure some of you have read about the over-hyped threat of violence that his movie was surely going to cause. I'm sorry, that notion is complete hogwash. That narrative was brought to the forefront working from the primus that the Aurora movie shooting happened because the killer was emulating the Joker. That narrative is completely false.
Apparently nobody in the media has read Dr. William Reid's book because this lie will not go away.
As for the movie itself, I fully expected to walk out of it and think, "what a bunch of sissy's," about the people storming out of the theater and taking to Twitter in a rage. Some even called for an outright ban of the movie. The one that is laughing the hardest over this over-hyped publicity is the Joker. The movie has brought in well over 200 million so far.
Without spoiling the movie I will say, this is not our parent's Joker movie. I remember watching Adam West as Batman with my mother as a child. I would not tell my mother to see this movie. She doesn't have twitter, she has a landline, but it would set off a chain of phone calls like you wouldn't believe.
So why is this movie affecting so many people in an uncomfortable way? Well, there are several reasons for this but the main reason is for the first time you're cheering for a psychopath to win. For the first time, someone made a Joker movie that gave us a completely different look, at a very familiar character. The writers, Todd Phillips, Scott Silver, and Joaquin Phoenix the actor who plays Joker do a fantastic job of differentiating their Joker from Health Ledgers without altering the character so much the audience no longer recognizes him.
Joker mirrors what a lot of people are struggling with today, depression, and mental illness. As the movie progresses you see someone's life slowly being stripped away. You can't help but feel sympathetic for the character, nor blame him for lashing out in anger against the world. Even if it's against a once innocent familiar face. This movie, like Game of Thrones, does a good job of creating grey. There are no more good guys and bad guys. This movie will make you uncomfortable at times. This movie will make you anxious causing you to fidget in your seat. This is a dark movie, with a smiling face and that’s the joke, but not everyone gets it.