2019 Joker's themes discussion (contains spoilers, obviously)

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Limitless82

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#1  Edited By Limitless82

I think we all know by now that the 2019 movie Joker is a divisive between critics and audiences. Personally I absolutely loved the film (although I can't say I enjoyed it, given its bleakness). I have no intention to argue with ones that dislike this film since art is subjective and we are all entitled to opinions of our own, so this thread is not designed to escalate that fight/controvasy on why Joker film is fantastic or terrible.

However, one issue I DO take with some of the critics/viewers is that some of them felt the movie was empty or poor on themes/messages and doesn't actually have anything to say at all, which I have to disagree strongly. Say what one will about its actual delivery, I can understand why some might have perceived the themes and messages in the film as shallow or pretentious or superficial or dangerous or badly written/directed, but I feel one thing this movie offered in abundance are food for thoughts (whether one feel it is junky fast-food or nutritious four-course dining is depend on personal taste lol).

I have seen the movie only ONCE (three days ago), and already I could plunk out from my memory many significant and minor themes/messages peppered throughout the film:

* Obviously, mental health issue, social class divides, disparity between the poor and wealthy, and the conflicts between the have's and have-not's are major driven force through out the movie, which I think we all have picked up on. But beyond these, the director/writer's tendrils has also touched upon the issues of --

* impact of social funding and budget cuts on people that relied on it;

* mental health igorance and demonisation;

* insufficency of general healthcare;

* social isolation and neglection, lack of compassion and empathy;

* actual everyday violence, harrassments and bullying;

* child abuse and domestic abuse;

* sensationalization by popular media through snapshot protrayals (Arthur's standup been used as chat show laughing stock);

* power play, gag orders and corporational/political cover ups (if Arthur's mother were to be believed);

* the indifference or ignorance of the top 1%;

* the danger of mob mentality;

* the lack of gun control/firearm regulation;

* even environmental issues (city littered by garbages and plagued by rats).

And those were just the ones I picked upon after one viewing. It is fair enough if a critics or viewer feel those themes were depicted poorly or doesn't work within the context of the film, but it would be unfair to say there are nothing there worthwhile, when there were arguably TOO MANY crammed in.

Anyway, what do you guys/ladies think? And what other themes/messages have you noticed or picked up from your viewing experiences? :-)

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deactivated-5d9f66fc1521c

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good movie but i think the end makes us relate criminals? joker vs deniro is a cold scene.

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Ready_4_Madness

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There’s a whole lot we can talk about with this movie and I wouldn’t know where to start.

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mrmonster

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This movie has so many complicated themes that I wouldn't even know where to start. You could write several full-length papers on this movie, each about a completely different theme.

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mrmonster

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Wisecrack did a really good video on this movie's theme of needing to be recognized.

Loading Video...

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Limitless82

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@mrmonster: yes that is a good point, the needs for social recognition and acceptances often lead to the exploitation of the vurnerables and desperates, another theme touched on by this movie.

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Limitless82

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There’s a whole lot we can talk about with this movie and I wouldn’t know where to start.

which spoke to you the most?

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Ready_4_Madness

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@limitless82: how every single scene in this movie had a purpose, nothing felt forced. Phoenix acting is outstanding, the cinematography, the scene with Murray is the best scene I’ve ever seen in a comic book movie. The plot twist. These are things that stood out the most to me.

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Limitless82

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@ready_4_madness: I agree. I have only seen the film once so I could be wrong, but from my memory I can't recall a single scene that might have came across as unnecessary. The acting, cinema photography, and soundtracks were superb. It's an uncomfortable film to watch but I feel there are much to be learnt and observed through the discomfort and unease-ness.

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Ready_4_Madness

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@limitless82: his mere laugh alone was uncomfortable to watch, I was impressed.

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Limitless82

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@ready_4_madness: what is special with his laughter is it came in different tones, serve different purposes and trigger different emotions from the audiences (or me at least).

Eg. When he laughed in the bus after the kid's mom lashed out at him, it made me pity him. When he laughed in the train drawing the three wall streeters, it made me dread for him. When he laughed in the comedy club couldn't get his lines out, it made me felt embarrassed and despair for him. And his later laughters as Arthur transformed more and more into joker were just chilling and creepy.

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Limitless82

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@ready_4_madness: Oh and talking of his variations of laughter, I am also remembering his variations of dancing too. He has several dance scenes/moments throughout the film. plucking from my memory:

In the very beginning when he danced with the sign on the street were so innocently sweet.

Danced with his mother in the flat after he had the imaginary date were heartwarming and hopeful.

Danced in the public restroom after gunned down three wall streeters were creepy and haunting.

Danced down that outdoor stairway were hyponotical and transformational.

Danced when he came out of the curtain in the chat show were weirdly charming.

And I vaguely remember he had one more dance during the riot/atop the police car, didn't he?

So yeah, Phoenix is such a fascinating actor and his joker is such a terrific character, said so much through just his acting, laughters and movements even without dialogues.