Bismillah Hir Rahman Ir Raheem
Peace and blessings be upon you all
WARNING: SPOILERS ALERT
Joker is an intricate, thought-provoking psychological thriller about how one of the greatest villains in comic history came to life from the streets of Gotham City.
The story line is thought-provoking, spine-tingling yet beautiful in its own way. The cinematography has been done to perfection; the camera angle for a specific scene, event or even emotion has been done to perfection; and the acting….nothing short of extraordinary. It looked so painful how Joker tried to hold on his many fits of laughter when they came at the wrong time, how he’d push his face in his arm and cry while laughing at the same time. In addition, the perfectly timed and perfect music enhanced the mood of each scene even more, especially when the Joker was dancing. Finally at the end, when the Joker stood on the car and smiled, if the movie had ended there, I would’ve fainted there and then because of the intensity of the moment and the huge chills I was feeling.
In this review, I’d like to talk more about the story line and we can have a discussion about it. If you many have heard, the reviews of this film are bipolar. Half of the people are commending on how amazing this film is (like me) while the other half commends on the cinematography and acting but despised the story line. They say that it glorified the villain because it shows the life of the man who was not supported by anyone, who was a loner who started to have the urge to kill people and this film was supporting it. It may be true as many people who watched the movie actually thought highly of Joker.
Considering all the facts I’ve mentioned above, I’d like to talk about this film. For me, I didn’t feel like it glorified the villain. Firstly, and frankly, if you want to watch the story of the villain, if it is only vicious and cruel, not a single person would bother watching it because it is too much for them and they can’t relate to it at all so it has to be humanised. Secondly, since Joker isn’t an extraterrestrial, he is going to be human therefore everything that we associate with as human with apply to him 100%, and considering that he has a mental disorder makes him even more so. No one is born bad. They were conditioned by their surrounding to become bad and whether that remains the same throughout one’s life is up to the person.
The movie isn’t telling us anything new. It is reminding us of the same things we experience in our day to day lives and what the essence of every superhero-villain film is. Let’s talk about this in two perspective’s; Arthur’s, and society’s.
Starting with Arthur, even hearing the name makes you think, “Oh, human.” From his point of view, you can understand the transition from Arthur to Joker; beaten up in childhood, beaten up by kids after they stole his placard, being rat out by his trusted friend, getting fired, beaten up again for laughing, having a beautiful image of a father torn to shreds by his mother who lied to him believing he was ‘happy’, being embarassed in front of the whole city live on television…….his whole world was plotting against him and beating him up till he was breathless. Considering he had a mental disorder, he wouldn’t have a normal way of dealing with all this pressure, and after his sessions and medications ended, how would you expect he would react??
In the end, he wanted to feel happy. At the end of the film, you feel his joy(?) that gives you chills.
By putting yourselves into his shoes, you can understand the triggers to his violent murderous behaviour. You cannot relate to killing people the way he did and you shouldn’t because he couldn’t control his surrounding but he should’ve controlled his reaction to it. So in this way, you see Arthur as a murderous man who needed help and that help could’ve stopped him and more importantly, could’ve made him happy.
Now we move on to society’s perspective, what everyone can relate to. If you’ve watched Thirteen Reasons Why, you know that show is all about how society and people you thought you trusted and were your friends push you to taking your own life. This movie isn’t so different. If we don’t take care of our friends, talk to them, guide them, help them, give them a shoulder to cry on, allow them to vent out, give them alternative ways to express themselves, we as a society create broken humans like Hannah and Arthur. Both of them went through terrible, unimaginable pain and weren’t given the help they needed. When that doesn’t happen, when you’re surrounding by evil and pain everywhere you look, you only have two alternatives; suicide or taking matters into your own hands, or anything to take the sadness and pain away.
We may complain, write posts and share quotes about how we are special, precious jewels whose heart’s are broken by friends and loved ones everyday and therefore need to be treated like a king or queen. That’s alright. Everyone has a mental health, everyone is hurt and everyone wants to be wanted and understood. However, by doing this excessively, you put yourself in such a high pedestal that one of two things happens; you stop trusting people and take matters into your own hands, or you fail to support and help other broken people who you’ve viewed as those ‘friends and loved ones’ who broke your heart. So to summarise, we have to consider the heart-breaker’s broken heart as well and not self-idolise ourselves all the time.
So the important lessons I learnt from Hannah and Arthur is that I can be a broken hearted heart-breaker. I can feel pain and could be empathetic yet create hundreds of villains around me, whether they are my friends or strangers, and that is a serious issue. Not every person who’s life suddenly changes after trauma becomes Batman and Spiderman so please do not take the risk.
As a society, we should not laugh at the Arthur’s who want to try out being a stand-up comedian. We should not be aggressively annoyed at the differently abled children who want to be normal but can’t change the way they are.
Also importantly, we need to give alms and charity to the poor, orphans, widows and everyone in need because if we don’t, they will create a permanent belief that this world is hell and will take matters into their own hands. Why is thievery at a high rate in many countries? Apart from mafia or something, people have reached the level of desperation to take matters into their own hands because no one was there to help them.
Islam stresses greatly upon maintaining friends and family relations, helping others in need and give alms or Zakat to the poor. Islam stresses on Zakat so much it’s as if we are told to give alms everyday. In Tabuk Expedition in the 7th century, Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) spent all his weath for his people. Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) made sure not a single poor person went to sleep hungry. From the many reasons we are told to do such acts, one of these is that we as a society don’t breed villains.
WE AS A SOCIETY SHOULD NOT BREED VILLAINS
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That’s enough of me talking. What do you guys think about Joker, or the theme of Joker? If you have anything you’d like to add, mention it in the comments.