‘Joker’ illustrates mental health is no joke

Matt Balmy ’21, Staff Reporter

Podcast! Joker, a Work of Art

I liked “Joker.” It was cool and weird at the same time seeing Arthur Fleck’s (Joker’s) view and how he become that well known villain he is today. The movie itself is dark, with dark settings, darker moments, and the theme is a mix between darkness and sorrow.

The movie starts off with a character named Arthur Fleck, who would later become known as “Joker” after later events in the movie. It shows how Arthur has a sad and different life compared to others. He has to take care of his mother and is also mentally ill. His mental illness makes him laugh hysterically and uncontrollably for a few moments at a time, even if something is not funny.

As the movie continues, Arthur finds out that his whole life could be a lie. He has occasional dreams that appear to be reality, but soon after the dream is over, it shows the opposite of what happened, which is the reality.

The climax of the movie happens when Arthur is brought onto the Murray Franklin show, a talk show hosted by Murray Franklin, Arthur’s childhood hero. This is where Arthur gets his nickname Joker, the name by which Franklin introduced him before he came to the set.

As the audience gets deeper and deeper into the movie, they start to see how his army of clowns slowly builds up, but after the talk show, everything surfaces and Gotham goes into chaos. The movie gives a different view on how the Joker became the well known movie and comic book icon and Batman’s nemesis.

“Joker” can also be looked at as a mental health awareness film. The movie itself has violence, but it does not provoke violence in any way. The movie shows how someone with a mental illness views the world differently than people who see it as “normal.” “Joker” has moments where he is beaten because he cannot control his condition, and this builds up his depression.

The film forced me to think about what it is like to have a different view on society, other than the general population, who do not have a mental illness. It was overall an excellent movie and sends a message that people should be kind and think about what others have to go through on a day to day basis.

In regards to whether the movie provoked violence, Social Science Department Chair and movie fan Chris Fern said, “I think the film ‘Joker’ provokes thought. I don’t think that movies make people go and act out violence, and I don’t think video games make people go and act out violence.”