Say Hello to Arthur Fleck– A Self- styled Psychopath Joker!
The character who is really like no other in the world of comic book villains. The character who is awkward, but funny. The character who is kind, but outrageous. The character is entertaining but disturbing. The character is incredible, but only for the personality of a killer. The character who is everything we fear NOT about a guy walking around in clown get up but who is also a true reflection of our dark society, where people like these are only treated as an AWFUL thing and source of joy!
Yes, I am talking about the New Joker in town- Joaquin Phoenix (also known as Arthur Fleck)
He has just rocked Hollywood, scored 8th position in the world’s most popular movies and recognized it as the biggest super hit of the year.
The story revolves around the troubled-soul Arthur Fleck, who starts out as a decent but violent person. He marks himself as an aspiring standup comedian who believes that his mission is to bring laughter to the world, and spread smiles everywhere through his humorous acts and jokes- But this happens only until the life abuses him and treats him so cruel that he starts to believe that his existence is useless, he is a rejected, adopted, awful and nothing more than a party clown.
It’s a story about a person with a storm of mental health issues, and introduced as a loser whose struggles leave him solitary; he deals with a troubled past and continuous failures that all combine to drag him into the list of problems that involve murders and violence.
A freak- who is only a subject of entertainment!
Arthur and his mom Penny Fleck live in squalor and love to watch a late-night TV show hosted by Murray Franklin, who appreciates Arthur and believes him as a good entertaining person- but only until he invites him on his show and finds out that he is a real psycho freak who has murdered three persons on subway and has some personality disorders. Unfortunately, the day he came to know the truths, becomes his last day- as according to Arthur he is also an awful person who loves to treat people like him a subject of entertainment who have never received much-needed attention & love from parents, coworkers, neighbors and the entire society.
What makes the character (Joker) so interesting but weird?
The Joker character is basically a catharsis about our own dark side of the personality. A part of us that we don’t tend to acknowledge- a part that doesn’t want to obey the realities of our society. Such kind of characters like Joker actually represents the idea that we all in some way are a real freak and want to live in a society where we don’t have to obey society’s rules. They do not follow the set of rules and regulations. They do their own thing, and to hell with everybody else.
Let’s be honest, all of us wish that we could do that. But surprisingly, Joker is still something different. It is a darker side of that way of thinking. Not only does he not want to follow the rules of society, but he actively seeks to destroy the rules as we understand them. However, the fact is, society is not ready to accept a different kind of gender or personality which have their own terms and lifestyle.
The Ending- a most fascinating part!
Arthur Fleck was painted as a tragic figure who never received appreciation and the love he deserves. The society turns out to be more abusive when he confesses about the murders on the TV show. But it was still a win-win situation for him, as all the unhappy Gotham citizens wearing Joker masks come to support him and tear the city up. It was the day he received love and felt like that there is a meaning of his existence. He doesn’t even need to see Thomas Wayne too, as one of those rioters kills Thomas and Martha Wayne in the same place where he was celebrating his victory. And thus it made the way for Bruce Wayne to become Batman. It seems like a twist that Joker is set to responsible for Batman rather than the other way around!
And after that, it turns out it’s just a story being told to a psychiatrist in a mental asylum where Arthur Fleck is kept. The film ends with him having killed the psychiatrist (denoted by the bloodstains coming from his footprints) and being chased around the asylum.
The movie touches on some hot button issues, but the failure is it doesn’t know what to do with them. It provokes anxiety as well because topics like social unrest and mental illness have not seen treated. For example, we learn that Arthur was abused by his mother. He then kills his mother. There are no insights about domestic abuse; it’s just a shocking thing that leads to other shocking things. Now here we come across two theories that create some conflicts, whether to support Arthur due to the pressures he was dealing with or to consider him a villain, and a murderer who should be punished hard for murders and violence.
In the end, I wouldn’t call him weird, he is a character who is funny but creep, and above all, he helps people to ‘put on a happy face’.