A few days ago I had the chance to watch ‘Joker’ and I must say that this was an intense film. I thought the story was solid, the acting was stupendous, and the score worked nicely too.
Unlike so many of the other superhero films, this was very lifelike. I would even go as far as to say that if someone didn’t know that the Joker was from a comic book before they watched the film, they might not realise that his was the case after they had watched the film.
So if you haven’t watched the film but plan to, I suggest that you stop reading now as I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you. One thing that surprised me about this film was that it was only a 15 rating.
I thought it could have easily been an 18 rating. However, considering how easy it is for anyone, no matter how old they are, to see just about anything online, having a higher rating probably wouldn’t do much.
One Last Thing
One thing I will say is that if you had a traumatic childhood and/or have mental and emotional problems, it might not be a good idea for you to watch this film. If you do, you could be in for a rough ride while you watch it and for a little while afterwards.
This is due to how lifelike this film is and the themes that are touched upon throughout the film. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the film.
In the first part of the film, Arthur Fleck does his best to earn a living by dressing up as a clown. This is not something that he is very successful at, though, with their being one moment when his sign is stolen and he ends up getting beaten up by the group of boys that stole it.
Not only does he get beaten up and totally humiliated, his boss doesn’t believe that this happened and accuses him of stealing the sign. Shortly after this, one of his colleagues helps him out by giving him a gun so that he can protect himself.
While Arthur is performing front of children at a hospital, the gun ends up falling out of his trousers. This doesn’t do him any favours and, if I remember rightly, I think this causes him to lose his job.
It is also around this time that he finds out from his social worker that the funding is being cut back. This will mean that he will no longer be able to see her or to receive all of the medication that he needs in order to function.
His Home Life
Arthur lives at home with his mother, who he also has to take care of. One of the things that he mother mentions on a number of occasion is Thomas Wayne, with this being someone who she used to work for when she was younger.
Due to his wealth and influence, she wants him to run for mayor. She is convinced that he is the only person who can save Gotham City.
It All Changes
Arthur has a condition where he often laughs uncontrollably (Pseudobulbar affect) and this results in three men picking a fight with him on a train. He ends up getting hit a few times, but as he has a gun, he is able to put an end to this.
The trouble is that he ends up killing each of these men and this is when everything starts to really kick off in Gotham. Still, Arthur is not really fazed by what has happened and carries on as normal.
The Truth Comes Out
His mother gives Arthur a letter to post and he ends up reading it. To his surprise, it says that Thomas Wayne is his father.
Arthur pays a visit to his father’s home, but the only people that he talks to is his butler, Alfred and his son, Bruce. After this, he sneaks into a concert hall to try to find out why his father didn’t try to contact him and this is when he is told that he is not his father.
A Massive Shock
He is also told that his mother is basically mad and that he was adopted. Arthur can’t accept this, so he ends up going to what appears to be a mental asylum to find out about what the truth is.
After his mothers records are found, he is told that is mother as diagnosed as having narcissistic personality disorder and that he was adopted. Furthermore, he finds out that he was heavily abused by his mother’s boyfriend and that his mother didn’t do anything about it.
The Light Is On
Before long, Arthur goes to the hospital and kills his mother with the help of a pillow. Based on how he reacts afterwards, it would be easy to assume that he has just done something positive.
He is happy about what he has just done, with his response to killing his mother being no different to what the average person’s response would be like if they had just killed a fly. To the outside observer, he looks like a human being but what is clear is that he is missing the human element.
He ends up killing an old colleague but let’s another one survive due to the fact that this person treated him well when they worked together. It is around this time that he starts to prepare for his appearance on the Murray Franklin show.
Earlier on in the film he imagines that Murray Franklin picks him from the audience and tells him that he would love to have a son like him. He tells him that he is a good man for looking after his mother.
Unmet Childhood needs
What is clear from this scene, and is later backed up by the fact that his father wasn’t around, is that he saw Murray Franklin as a father figure. Many, many years will have passed since he was a boy, but the boy that is inside him will crave his father’s love.
This part of him will desperately want to be accepted and approved of by his father. And as this person wasn’t around then and isn’t around now that he is an adult, he will have unconsciously seen this talk show host as a father figure.
His Big Chance
When he goes on this talk show, it doesn’t take long to see that he no longer views this person in the same way. This is crystal clear when he ends up shooting him a few times and killing him in the process.
All the anger and rage that he felt towards his own father for not being around may have played a part here, with this anger being directed at Murray Franklin. At one point in time he saw him as a god, while at another point in time he saw him as the devil.
A New Leader Is Born
He ends up being taken to prison but with the help of a few people wearing clown masks, he is able to break free. At the start of the film he was ignored by most people; whereas now he is treated like some kind of hero.
He has been starved of attention for his whole life and hasn’t felt significant, but after killing a few people and helping to start a movement, this has all changed. Now he is finally able to experience what he has missed out on throughout his adult life and what he almost certainly didn’t receive when he was a child.
What would Arthur be like if his early years were full of love and he received the type of care that he needed to develop properly? While this was just a film, there are plenty of people on this earth that went through a similar experience to Arthur and are causing all kinds of problems.
Interestingly, I was reading the other day about how crime in America dropped a number of years after abortion was legalised. This was said to be because if a woman was forced to have a child and she wasn’t in a position to raise the child, the child would be more likely to resort to a life of crime
I mention this not to say that abortion is the answer; I say this to illustrate how much of an effect someone’s early years can have on their adult life. And if someone doesn’t receive the right care during this stage of their life, they can turn into a monster who terrorizes others as an adult
After all, it is human beings that cause most of the problems on this planet, not people from other planets or aliens. Therefore, the only way that the world is likely to truly change is if children are treated in the right way.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.