The Joker: Humanized

If you’ve seen Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker then you’d agree with me too. Villains aren’t simple evil people anymore. Now the Western comics movie world has more than caught up with creating fictional bad guys who have a reason to be bad.

In the 90s, the reintroduction of anime in the Philippines brought a new wave of stories children adored and followed on TV everyday. More people got exposed to Japanese cartoons with villains who were more human than simply being the bad guy who does evil things for no reason. Now we see the perfect example of it in mainstream Hollywood movies. Say hello to Joker.

Yes I know I should be writing about older movies but it’s just so mind-numbing I have to write about it. Lol.

Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you.

There’s a Polygon article saying Joker has now become the unlikely face of Anarchy. A decade or so ago it was V from V for Vendetta. Wow, comics has made a lot of impact over the years haven’t it? Now Joker is the talk of the town. Why? In the US there’s the issue of gun control and they keep connecting the issue with Joker. Not that it’s unrelated but it’s probably because it’s too close to (their) home. Gun safety is not entirely fictional anymore. In Joker, it’s become a reality in a fictional world.

I’m not here to talk about political issues though. Joker is more of a psychological movie, one where we can examine our own mental health issues. Mental problems have steadily risen with the technological advances we’ve had over the years, at least for advanced countries and those exposed to technology like the internet. (I say our smartphones and computers are the new functional idiot boxes of the 21st century.)

Will Comics Lovers But Non-Batman Fans Enjoy Joker?

Personally, I’ve never really been a Batman fan. I’m more into out of this world things: fantasy and sci-fi, esoterics, metaphysics, etc., but psychology is indeed fascinating too. I’ve also been an avid comics reader when I was a kid up to my teenage years. And then I sparsely read comics whenever I could after that so I’ve seen enough things imho. 😛

In late 2015 until 2016 I must’ve read more Batman stuff than I ever did in my entire life. I read comics after comics and then a graphic novel that blew my mind. Ah but what the heck, I’m still not a fan. Batman Forever? The Dark Knight? Yes I’ve seen all Batman movies but I’m still not that into Batman. Not much into the Joker or clowns and Ronald McDonald either but I do like Hisoka of Hunter x Hunter more than any clown in the world. ^_^

I’m so not a Batman or Joker fan that I never even read or watched any article or video before I watched the movie. Sorry I’m busy working in real estate, writing commissioned articles, making custom bulk temporary tattoos or helping people get healthier with a superfoods mix. Got no time to spend much on watching or reading pop culture these days. I only have enough time to catch up on some of the TV series I enjoy.

Anyway, after having seen Joker I then began watching videos and reading online articles about it. In one video the Joker director/writer Todd Phillips says Joker is a slow burn and I agree. It’s worth every second building up the momentum until it comes to a mind-numbing ending.

Just seeing the teaser trailer last year made me happy and excited to see it so if you felt the same way you’ll definitely love it. Doesn’t matter if you’re a fan or not, you’ll still find something to appreciate in it.

How the Teaser Trailer Set the Tone

Who wouldn’t be excited to see the movie with a teaser trailer like this?

Now that’s the kind of trailer that really sets the tone. You’ll get a sense that it’s not one of those made-for-kids movies at all. Just seeing it will already make you feel the weight of the story. It’s so dark I’m sure even Christopher Nolan approves.

And so months and another trailer or two came by until yesterday arrived. I watched it in a comfy nearby theater and it’s surprisingly not full at all. It’s not a mainstream theater so it’s understandable. It was almost empty when I got in, 20 or so minutes before it started. Then the people started to arrive and I felt there were enough people to enjoy the show. In contrast, the same theater was jampacked during the last full show of the first day of Avengers: Endgame.

How You Can Relate to Joker

So anyway, there I was, pretty excited as the movie started. At first I got kinda bored with the pacing. I mean, what’s happening, where’s the action? Lol. Yeah I know it’s not an action flick but come on I was waiting for something to happen and it wasn’t happening at all. So I checked my phone and saw the first hour wasn’t even over. Okay then, I said let’s see how it goes. And then the second hour kicks in. Well, the kicker is indeed in the second hour. It did not disappoint. Oh not at all.

Definitely, definitely, it’s something you should watch if you’ve ever felt wretched. Or if you’ve ever felt your life is pathetic and other people keep bringing you down. Watch it if you’ve gone past that stage and you know what it takes to fight off those demons.

Enjoy the thrill, the freedom and experience his life upon becoming The Joker.

Feel the sadness of it all. Share the pain. And think of how it feels like being on the opposite end of the spectrum, being the victim and continuing to be the victim.

I’m not saying Joker is right, he’s just doing it the only way he knows. And that’s sad when it happens. It’s sad but it happens, especially when people aren’t kind.

If I’m not making sense to you then perhaps don’t watch the movie. If you didn’t enjoy the trailer then don’t bother watching it. Your curiousity might be a waste of time. Trust me.

Those who could relate to Split and the Beast’s statement of being “pure” would find Joker mindblowing and/or satisfying. Suffice it to say, if you’ve never known any kind of anguish and anger at the world then it’s not for you. 🤷

All that’s left for me to say is it’s the perfect prequel to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Oh it just fits right in. I’d rather not compare Heath Ledger’s Joker to this one though because if you watch this, you will sympathize more with someone who should really be hated.

What Joker is Not

To manage your expectations, Joker is not for kids. It is rated R-16. Do not let your kids watch it, at least not until they are mature enough or you can explain it as well as you can.

Screencap from the trailer

It is also not a horror movie. At least for me it isn’t. (Don’t confuse it with the horror movie It.) Is real life crime a horror for you? If it is then maybe you can call it a slightly-horror movie.

Joker is also not an action movie, nor is it a tearjerker. What is it then? Well it’s not a comedy that’s for sure…

I’ll write a detailed movie review soon so for now this is the extent of my review.

How about you, have you seen it yet? What do you think about Joker? If you haven’t seen it yet, will you or will you not watch it?

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