First, a “spoiler warning” before you continue. This reading is especially for those who have watched the movie already. Let’s begin…..
As is customary we are looking beyond the masses to be able to look and experience the movie. In recent years, it has become very obvious that there are many people employed to work as reviewers or “movie critics” that don’t do their job as they should. And there are also influencers and regular people that are stimulated to have certain opinions and acting as mouthpieces in favor of certain groups that later provide them with financial sponsorship and opportunities. So there is a high probability of bias from both groups.
The reviewers are more likely to support the herd mentality. The masses can and have fallen for the media bias by ignoring the story like the critics told them too or by following gossip stories or highlighting political opinions of the actors in the movie that are part of a bigger group of hard-working people on and off the movie set. Making it to that you’re going in with a particular bias and will be unable to enjoy the movie.
Knowledge of Movies and Media Manipulation
It has become even easier to become a “movie critic”. There is no need to learn about cinematography and filmography anymore. There is no need to understand the genre or the canon either, or simply appreciate the work that was created when it’s good without any bias. Maybe there never was? Based on these points it becomes easier to understand the reviews when you read them today from both groups the professional movie critics and the masses. But it has become also a necessity to look for more information and go beyond what you hear and see.
Sometimes you will find important messages hidden in the story that the elites won’t like you to get like in Captain Marvel. Turning a group that were known in general as the bad guys and turning them into the oppressed group and showing them as living beings who deserve to live was for me a reference to the Israel/Palestine situation and therefore had a powerful message which was not caught by the majority of critics because there is no need to promote peace and reconciliation. Not to mention the whole media circus that was created to boycott the whole movie probably because of this. Fortunately, it didn’t work to boycott the movie but even then people were so biased and influenced by the media that it was difficult to enjoy the movie as a movie without thinking about the sound bites.
In other cases, you’ll find subliminal messages in movies like “Get Out” and “Us” that are referring to the customs of secret societies. Or you’ll find the traditional happy ending that completely ignores the struggles in real life. While the Joker didn’t have a happy ending, there are definitely some subliminal messages in the film. Like Artur working as a clown hiding his face behind a painted mask. People play different roles in society and hide their feelings and thoughts behind a mask.
At one point, Artur is banging his head asking why he was in a mental institution while the clock shows the time of 11:11. In general, the public believes 11:11 is an indication that your guides and angelic beings are there and that you are in alignment with them and therefore your own path. It is a wakeup call to see yourself as a divine aspect of the universe who has the potential therefore to be a master of this time-space reality. People who believe this would have problems with it and therefore unconsciously hate it.
Another meaning of the number is to pay very close attention to what you were thinking at the moment or just before the moment that you saw the number. It is a confirmation of what you thought as well as a reminder that you create with thought. Thought manipulates energy for manifestation and the thought you just thought is right on the brink of manifestation so make sure that it is in alignment with what you want to create. In the movie, there are other scenes where the clock is exactly at 11:11, which may corroborate the narrative that everything happened in Arturs’ imagination. It is well known that the bible passage of Jeremiah 11:11 has been used in movies like Get Out and Us. In this film, the description of the passage could be interpreted as an explanation for the rise of the Joker against the upper class.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.”
The creators of the Joker state that its just coincidence and that there is no meaning behind the use of 11:11 but its way too obvious. But I guess they have to deny because they still are part of or have to deal with the upper class. It’s even more obvious why this film had to fail because the upper class is in charge of Hollywood and all media outlets. And they have no interest in provoking people to go against the upper class. They prefer to deflect the anger towards racism, sexism, partisanship, etc. when its really about the class.
I find it ironic how the concept of freedom of speech is approached. You may say whatever you say but you have to face the consequences. Why is it only applicable for a certain part of the population? People are being scrutinized and punished for their points of views and those who have actually lied, abused and whose actions destroyed the lives of thousands of people are still working in high positions, living the good life and being praised by everybody. It has to be applicable to everybody! It doesn’t matter what class you’re in.
The media’s manipulation has become very effective because the understanding and recognizing of significant scenes in movies were complete ignored like the Captain Marvel case. At least that’s what I have experienced. I think it has become important to include themes that people are not aware of or don’t like to talk about because it helps to start the conversation in real life. This is what the Joker 2019 is about. Misunderstood because of a condition caused by mistreatment allowed by and/or caused by the adoptive parents. In this case, it refers to the adoptive mom and it raises the questions of whether there were any safeguards and controls during the adoption process and supervision afterward.
Talking about The Adoption Process
While the discussion about abortion is a difficult one because bringing new life into the world is invaluable and family values are viewed as important. What happens when a child is not wanted. It’s born in a broken environment where he is mistreated either physically or mentally or he ends up in an orphanage with a small probability of being adopted. The adoptive system in many countries is not the best. The inefficiencies of the system land children in an unhealthy environment where they face physical abuse and neglect. The ineffectiveness of the system is also why people look into other alternatives. Most of the time its the medium or high class that is most likely to have the necessary means to look for alternatives in other countries. In the meantime, those children in need in their country are left at the mercy of those that view the ineffective system as an opportunity for personal gain.
In general, natural birth parents that accept their child have a bond that puts them in protective mode and will prevent any intentional physical harm to their children. There are cases where neither birth nor adoptive parents feel the need to protect their children. Instead of the intentionally or unintentionally use their children to vent out their frustrations or make them fulfill their unrealized dreams. The parents themselves have mental problems that they never dealt with and the children become the recipients of that behavior. This is what happened to Arthur. As a result, he had to deal with the trauma caused by the physical abuse that was permitted because of the ineffective system.
But why is the system ineffective? There are many possible answers but the film illustrates how funding is cut for several low-class government programs that are helping the poor. Sounds familiar? The system is ineffective because of where it operates. If it’s based in a low-class neighborhood funded by the government there is a high probability that cases like Arthur are a constant. How many children are suffering like Arthur? We say children have rights but are we respecting these rights? If a child is in a difficult situation where can he/she go? Who Can they call? Many countries don’t have a proper system in place.
I wish people were as passionate about this like they are with movies and TV shows. Why? Because society is creating its villains this way. The probability of those abused children ending up committing crimes in order to survive is high. Turning a blind eye and ignore them will not solve the situation. It makes it worse.
There are people who are simply too unstable to become a parent, like Artur’s mother. They have to take care of themselves first but this never happens because mental illness is stigmatized. People should take care of their minds like they do with their bodies. When you have the flu, you go to the doctor. When you suffered a traumatic experience you should talk to a professional counselor or therapist. Talking to a friend helps but they don’t know in most cases what to say or do.
Talking about Mental Illness
The film addresses mental illness which is very important. It shows a reality that many from don’t upper class don’t want to see: someone from the lower class mentally broken and the health system that is supposed to treat him is also broken. The film points out the neglect of social workers that are underpaid and neglected as well by the government. Mental illness is a serious matter that hasn’t been treated seriously in many societies. Mental illness should be treated like a physical illness. When you have a cold, a fever, or a broken arm you go to the doctor. When you have a mental breakdown you should be able to see a doctor. But in reality, this is not the case, the health care plans don’t cover mental illness properly. You can ask you’re house doctor for anti-depressants but most of these doctors don’t know how to deal with mental illness, which leads to patients getting overmedicated which often leads to overdose and death.
Taking random videos and showing them to mock people in it. It was always done on TV and now it’s standard practice on youtube. Bringing people on TV to mock them in some kind of way is a common practice. Everyone could be a victim thinking they will get their one minute of fame. Especially new artists with new concepts or from other countries that are obviously different from the “cool group” are mocked. We see this a lot in the daytime and nighttime television. It has become acceptable/normal under the disguise of being nice, it has become normal to judge people on their fears, appearance, and interests. This is the first time I’m seeing this so blatantly portrayed on screen which may be one of the reasons why it’s hated by Hollywood financially driven critics.
There has been opposition against the film because it appeared to be violent and appeared to be racist. Keep in mind that all these claims came before the film was released. The argument that it should be canceled because it’s too violent is simply stupid. Why held the film about the origins of a comic book villain to this standard when other films Like Jhon Wick and Halloween which were equally or even more violent, were praised by those same critics. The argument that it will influence people to do bad things can also be said about films like the “Purge” franchise. People generally know bad vs. wrong and Bad people will be triggered by the smallest thing to act.
Mainstream is accustomed to manipulating the narrative and influence people’s behavior which is maybe why they would think a comic book film would be too much. But they obviously forget that most people who are fans or know about comic books today go beyond or even ignore mainstream which is why the majority went to see the movie and could understand it. In this case, it was successful because it is a well-known material.
Fans accustomed to a certain image of the joker had their reservations and could recognize it as a good film about mainly mental illness but not the best Joker. Those who look at it through an objective lens recognizes that it is a good film that brilliantly describes the origins and complexities of the Joker. It this is the start of his villain career, one could imagine how more developed he would be when he finally face batman in the future. It is understandable that he is not the maniacal Joker most people know because we were only exposed to the version of Joker that was already developed into an experienced villain.
Talking about the Society of Classes
Another important part of the film that stood out to me is the similarity with the reality of the economy of Gotham City. The Majority of the population is financially struggling, the government is cutting funding for healthcare and there is only a small group of wealthy people. Not to mention how Wayne referred to the poor people, which is the majority of the population, like clowns. Very similar to how a politician referred to lower class Americans which voted for the opposition as deplorable. Another point that he made is how people are envious, of those who worked hard for what they have. It may be true for some but for those who receive their wealth through inheritance, it isn’t.
A low-class income or even medium-class income people are the ones that need to work extra hard to generate opportunities as someone from the higher class. It clearly portrays the class differences and struggles that rarely get addressed on the mainstream. There are maybe more reasons why it’s not liked by the mainstream? At a time where everything is labeled the film doesn’t fall into this trap. The Joker is not political and doesn’t favor a specific group. The population that is struggling doesn’t represent a specific race. Overall there is no focus on a specific race, allowing the viewer to see all as the same. People are not happy that his girlfriend of color had not more screentime or more meaningful lines but I believe that was the whole point. He was imagining everything.
Some people say that the film doesn’t have a specific message, I disagree. The film is a mirror image of the problems that we have in our societies and how some governments have failed to priorities the needs of their people:
- Governments don’t have money for social programs but have money for bank bailouts and military spending;
- Governments are not able to effectively manage taxpayer money due to inefficiencies and corruption.
Our own moral compass changes when we deal with problems. It is not justifiable to inflict your frustrations on others or allow uncivilized behavior and bullying but in reality, it happens a lot. Not only would Arthurs’ attackers roam free continuing their vandalism but if they were from wealthy families they would be set free in a heartbeat what if Arthur was so badly beaten ending up dead? Because of its someone from the lower class, nobody pays attention.
Many don’t recognize this Joker because many haven’t really been exposed to this origin story on screen he was always portrayed as a developed psychotic villain but never on screen was it shown why he became that way. Many expected him to immediately become the Joker we all know forgetting that origin stories, for the most part, show the start of the character’s journey, most of the time on their lowest points. I guess that expectation that many had of seeing a developed psychotic villain as part of the media crashed against the movie. Many thought it would be too violent and would glorify a killer. I also think that since it is not of the DC Universe many wanted to portray it as an invaluable movie, and wanted it to fail.
Hurt People hurt people
Artur smiled to hide his pain until he completely lost empathy for humanity and felt good with acts of violence. Today’s society is about ratings and clicks, a short clip of Arthur went viral for ratings which is a very common occurrence in today’s society. Most of the time its a shot on the low-income class. How someone from their class helped someone in need which makes them feel good. But in the majority of cases, it’s not longterm help. It’s just for the soundbite and clicks. It’s an obvious critique of the way the media works. There is no standard to hold on too anymore. Maybe there never was. Every media outlet is using the same tactics to get more clicks. Clicks, Likes, and acceptance have become like a drug fueled by social media.
People pretend to be whatever is needed to be accepted including degrading themselves by becoming a laughing stock. Social media has done an exceptional job of dumbing down society with distractions and incorrect information. In general, the media mass message controlling and preventing critical thinking and constructive criticism has been successful.
In order to be accepted, you have to comply with the herd mentality that tells you what to think and what to feel going so far as to even ignoring science and to acknowledge that the herd is always right. This is what creates stereotypes about other countries, religions, races and so on. Because we don’t have all the information to understand each other it is very easy to fearmonger, demonize and isolate the other party without even trying to obtain the information that we don’t have to understand the situation. In most cases, there is no side that is right because both sides are going to extremes.
The right thing to do would be to obtain the information, use critical thinking and engage in mature discussions which would include listening to each other’s points of view and not immediately lashing out into defense mode. Some people would like to say that this is a problem of the young generation but it isn’t. The older generation that is supposed to give an example of maturity is equally if not more at fault of stupid behavior online. We spend a considerable amount of time arguing on topics that are irrelevant to our current social situation. Instead of paying attention to our governments’ work to improve our lives we are arguing about what a celebrity tweeted. One of the main reasons why the media hates this movie is because it shows their flaws and they don’t like it. You see the bias in their headlines from miles away.
Barely anyone mentioned the fact that he took care of his mother, minded his own business, and wanting to pursue his dream. If it was someone else you would find countless articles about how good he was in the beginning. He wanted to know his place in the world while being a broken man but he stopped caring about the world when no one cared about him. Imagine the difference, if someone would have helped him. Society looks at victims of mental illness as monsters but the people who paved the way are the real monsters. If Bruce Wayne didn’t have Alfred and wasn’t’ rich and society was kicking him around, the odds of him exploding like Artur would be high. Instead, he was in a well-off environment and had a stable person around him that kept him from going completely dark.
Being tormented through bullying can mess with someone’s mind. With Arthur’s level of trauma and having no one by his side. Sometimes you need someone to help you, show you the way of love and righteousness. Artur never has that. He was working and got jumped by a group of young men and no one did anything. The system creates its villains. The gun he used, in the end, was the gun his co-worker offered him and was pressured to take it. Later on, he was fired because the co-worker twisted the story, and made it seem like Artur brought the gun to work. He wanted to feel love but he just got ridiculed, yelled at, beat up, and rejected.
The Power of Understanding and Love
Love helps a person to see the choices more clearly and be able to make the best decision when the time comes to do so. Hurt people who find understanding, love, and compassion might be less likely to hurt other people. Just change the environment of most villains since their childbirth. There is a high probability that something will change, I’m thinking of Loki as an example. When human beings forget how to be human, how to love themselves and others, how to respect themselves and others, how to have inner peace with themselves and others, then the societies we are building will be harsh, cruel, and ultimately self-destructive.