Joker a Chilling Insight to Mental Illness

Bettina Sanford, Staff Writer

The Warner Bros. new adaptation of Batman’s rival, the Joker, was newly released this Friday on Oct. 4. The movie takes place in a fictional city known as Gotham, which has many similarities to New York City. Arthur Fleck, the main protagonist, is a failing comedian who hides behind a mask. One face he shows the world he actually paints on for his day job as a clown. In this mask he comes off as a shy, mentally deranged, and socially awkward man. In the other mask, he is confident, hilarious, successful, and a lady killer. He struggles from the pseudobulbar affect, which is a real medical condition that causes uncontrollable outbursts of laughter. People do not understand him and his condition, and tend to make fun of him and at extremes even physically hurt him. Because of the trauma from physical and mental abuse,  Fleck gradually descends into utter madness as he transforms into the delinquent genius known as the Joker.

Although the film was very well produced and portrayed the Joker in a way I have never seen before, it was not a film that I would ever like to see again. Joaquin Phoenix, the actor who portrayed the Joker, did such a good job that I left the theatre with chills and felt scared of everyone around me.

Throughout the movie Fleck killed six people, (SPOILER ALERT) one of them being his mother who he killed by suffocating her with a pillow while she was in the hospital. He showed no remorse, and came off as relieved, like she was a burden to him that he no longer had, and he even had a genuine smile on his face afterwards. The most gruesome of his attacks were when two of his co-workers came to visit him after hearing of his mother’s death. Before Fleck got up to open the door he put a pair of scissors in his back pocket, and it was at this moment that I knew he was about to murder one of them with those scissors. His face before he opened the door, had my heart beating so fast in anticipation of what was to come. I had to look away and cover my ears so that I could not see or hear what would happen because I did not want to be haunted with that memory.

Overall it was an amazing film, and the acting, sets, and music throughout the movie were impeccable. But unfortunately scary movies like this psychological thriller just are not my cup of tea. If you can handle the mind tricks and bloody deaths, I highly recommend as this is a film for you. But for me, I am definitely glad I was able to watch it but I would not like to relive that experience ever again.