Is the new “Joker” a joke?

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IMDB description: In Gotham City, mentally-troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: "The Joker".

Monica Garza, Editor

The drama/thriller movie “Joker” sold about $93.5 million in tickets this past weekend and has made an additional $140.5 million overseas, according to Warner Bros after it started showing in theaters on Oct. 4, 2019. The Joker is a super villain that was first created in 1940 in the first Batman comic book. Since then, the character has been involved in numerous movies, comic books, TV shows and video games. Directed by Todd Philips, who also directed “War Pigs” and “A Star is Born,” this particular movie focuses on the life of Arthur Fleck before he converts himself into the Joker. I viewed “Joker” this past weekend,  and I must say, it was not what I expected at all.

To peek inside the life of Arthur Fleck, the audience learns that Fleck has a form of mental illness called schizophrenia. This causes him to have trouble expressing his emotions and specifically causes Fleck to laugh uncontrollably at random moments. Fleck gets into trouble throughout the movie  when he bursts into a very disturbing laugh in the middle of inappropriate situations. Since Fleck isn’t purposely laughing, it’s noticeable that he doesn’t feel any joy when he laughs, therefore making it uncomfortable to watch a man forced to laugh when he doesn’t want to. This causes the audience to feel sorry for him while at the same time, slightly disturbed by his loud and unstoppable laugh.

Fleck goes through many tough situations of his own creation, which ends up getting him into trouble. He works as a clown with some of his friends, and after his friend gives him a gun for protection, Fleck decides to use it to get himself out of some of his tough decisions. Without spoiling the movie for those who have yet to see it, after the Joker takes advantage of the gun, he runs away to avoid the consequences. These actions soon turn Fleck over to the dark side when he stops taking his medicine and starts to crave attention from others, even if that means receiving negative or hateful attention. Fleck continues to hurt others in very disturbing ways and the movie shows full murder scenes with painful details and chilling audio. The movie shows each time the Joker kills someone with graphic scenes and leaves you with an unsettling feeling. I felt very uncomfortable watching all the scenes and even had to cover my eyes on some parts. 

By the end of the movie, Fleck has completely slipped into madness and has exposed his identity to the world. Although the audience learns some information that explains his role in past movies, it still leaves the viewers in an unpleasant mood. If you enjoy dramatic comic movies and gritty and graphic scenes have no effect on you, I would highly suggest for you to see the film because besides the unsettling feeling it leaves you, the story line is very interesting and keeps you on your toes. Otherwise, I would skip this movie and save yourself a very uncomfortable stomach ache.