By Sydney Riepl, Features Editor
The recent release of Todd Phillips’ “Joker” has created many controversies in our current cultural environment, resulting in some people going so far as to say that the movie encourages sympathy for serial killers and inspires brutal violence. Critics of the movie even raised speculations about its lack of merit.
“Joker” is set in Gotham City’s dark days, when there was a monumental gap between the rich and the poor. In Gotham City, work is limited and the cruel world seems to be taking advantage of Arthur Fleck, the man who later becomes the title character. Sympathy is a normal human response to the common theme of a man desperately trying to fit in where he does not and will never belong. The movie climaxes when Fleck drastically goes off all of his medications and turns to murder as a coping mechanism, which is when the movie becomes nothing more than a visual comic book.
“I have to say that, at first, I was scared of going to the theater to watch it because I heard of shooting threats at theaters that were playing the movie,” senior Maggie Ward said. “After watching the whole movie, I was confused as to how someone could connect mass shootings to the movie. While I did think it was a little disturbing at times, I thought it was a great addition to the classic and well-loved Batman movies.”
It is clear that the plot is just a prequel to all of the Batman movies and simply provides a background to the feared villain in Gotham City. While the movie does somewhat delve into some political and social issues of our current environment, this movie is ultimately just another comic-turned-cinema that expands on how the Joker has come to be the notorious villain DC Comics fans know and love.
“A movie is only as good as its villain, and the horrific beginning to the Joker only shows that Batman and the Joker are as iconic and timeless as heroes and villains come, which makes all the fuss about ethics a minute detail to ‘Joker,’” senior Colleen Kelly said.