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How Warner Bros’ “Joker” Creates Conversation on Mental Illness (Spoiler Alert)


How Warner Bros’ “Joker” Creates Conversation on Mental Illness (Spoiler Alert)

We have had a week to digest the masterpiece that is Warner Bros’ newest film “Joker.”


That’s right, I said masterpiece. Hopefully if you’re reading this then you’ve had the pleasure of seeing the film. The film was officially released last week on October 8th.There has been lots of controversy surrounding its release.

The uproar comes from the film’s historic significance, a culture where we have seen things like copycat killers and the glorification of mass shooters. The devastating incident in Colorado back in 2012, where 12 people were fatally killed during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” has been a big focus surrounding this topic.

The movie itself takes us into a world that we never knew we needed. We get to see Joker before he is Joker. Looking at Arthur Fleck’s life and the events that create the monster we know him to be. Despite what you thought you knew about the villain, the 122 minute film gives insight that shows you there is really two sides to every story.

 With the  amount of people who have portrayed Joker, we see multiple ways the character can be manipulated. In Joaquin Phoenix’s take, the Joker has a mental condition in which he has an uncontrollable laugh that seems to happen in the most inappropriate situations.

The fact that the film dropped during mental illness awareness week (October 6- October 12) showed major significance. Joker was an outcast in the time he lived in, but today he could thrive. In 2019 mental health is a top priority and victims of mental illness have found a safe place in today’s climate.    

“Joker” helps us to understand that there are inner battles others face that you may never even realize. You may ask yourself, “If humans just treated each other like humans would such killers even exist?” This is not to give an excuse for anyone who finds consolidation in murder, but it is a big “what if” to ponder on.  

 Rotten Tomatoes rated the film a 68% but reviews from moviegoers tells an opposite story. What critics are failing to realize is that anyone who leaves the theater after seeing “Joker” will leave wanting to be a better person. You really are forced to step back and examine yourself. 

I believe that “Joker” will win movie of the year for 2019. This is a film that makes you think and one you have to discuss with everyone who sees it. Having a conversation not only how the age gap between Joker and Batman seems tremendous, but also the mindset of the arch nemesis. 

The sensitivity of society today combined with recently gained knowledge on mental illness allows for us to see what people around Joker couldn’t see back then. We empathize with him, we feel hurt for him, and disdain for those that cause him harm. We become his protectors as we watch him go through his evolution


The saddest part of it all was that Joker was battling it all alone. I can safely say that all of our hearts dropped when reality showed us that Joker had fantasized his romantic relationship with his neighbor. It makes you wonder if having at least one person in his corner could have made the slightest difference in his life.

These conversations are necessary. Art is a reflection of life and what we decide to do with it is up to us. What are your thoughts after seeing “Joker”? Did you leave the theater feeling changed or wanting to make a change?

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