Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
Movies
Byrne Robotics > Movies << Prev Page of 22 Next >>
Topic: Joker Movie? - SPOILERS begin Pg. 15 Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Sergio Saavedra
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 13 August 2007
Location: Spain
Posts: 402
Posted: 27 October 2019 at 4:44pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I saw the film a couple of days ago. It was crushing; I still feel a little moved.
I think the Joker is just an excuse, the film would have worked if the character was called "Carnival" or whatever. So, in my opinion it is not an adaptation of a comic book character, but it is a very good film in its own right.
The atmosphere is stiffling, you can feel the tension even when nothing special is happening, and I think that is an achievement (Wuthering Heights comes to my mind, in the sense that what makes this novel great IMO is not the story itself, but the oppressive atmosphere, that feeling of imminent danger).
You really feel empathy for that poor Arthur, sometimes the tension is devastating, hardly bearable.
However, I personally can't understand those people who claim that the film makes you empathise with the Joker. I felt compassion for Arthur up to the moment when he crossed the line. Up to the moment when he became a monster. Or, I empathised with him when he sluggishly climbed those stairs, and not when he went down the staircase dancing.
I don't know, perhaps mine is just another possible interpretation, but I feel that the fact that some people still felt sympathy for the Joker when he became the Joker speaks volumes of the dim concept modern society has of moral boundaries.
What I interpreted is that I was being shown the horrible consequences of a society that does not care, that is cruel to the weak and powerless  people. To me that is the message of the film, and not the glorification nor the justification of a murderer.
The indiference and even contempt of some people towards others, and specially of the rich and powerful towards their inferiors create monsters. Arthur's employer is a good example of powerful people being heartless; Thomas Wayne is another example ("those of us who've made something of our lives, will always look at those who haven't as nothing but clowns"). In the film we not only see the Joker's deterioration because of this, but also the society's deterioration. When in a crisis the rich and powerful treat the lowlifes with cruel indifference they create monsters. I don't think that the film is a justification of that, but a warning. At least that's how I saw it.

But yes, for us comic book fans, this film is not an adaptation of the characters we know and love (or love to hate); it works better as an Elseworlds or a black label thing. And I think the film even allows for the interpretation that the whole film is a story the Joker is telling the social worker, not necessarily what really happened.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Koroush Ghazi
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 October 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1527
Posted: 27 October 2019 at 7:58pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

 Sergio Saavedra wrote:
When in a crisis the rich and powerful treat the lowlifes with cruel indifference they create monsters.


And there, Sergio, is precisely how you have empathised with the Joker. Society's carelessness didn't create the Joker, or anybody like him. He's a psychopath. He kills for pleasure; it's a distinct mental defect that isn't caused by anyone. Well, unless you believe in God, in which case, God is to blame because he either creates this defect in certain children, or allows it to happen - possibly to test us, or him, or both!

But either way, the fundamental point here is that if you are walking away from a movie about a psychopathic super-villain and seeing everyone else as the perpetrators, then you are seeing a distorted view of reality.
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Sergio Saavedra
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 13 August 2007
Location: Spain
Posts: 402
Posted: 28 October 2019 at 3:37pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

When you say that the Joker is a psychopath, I'm not sure if you mean the comic book character or this film's character. But in any case, I stop empathising the moment he begun killing. I don't  mean that society is to blame for the Joker's crimes according to this film. I personally have no doubt that the one who pulls the trigger is the guilty one. But I think the point of this film is that we may be, not guilty, but responsible to some degree when we ourselves are cruel to others. At least that is how I understood the film.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Christopher Frost
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 24 October 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 361
Posted: 29 October 2019 at 4:07am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Sergio is right. The man is responsible for his own actions but the message of the film is how an uncaring society can result in fringe personalities being pushed over the edge. The audience can sympathize with Arthur because the character is presented as man with mental health issues who is trying to do his best. He works a crappy job, takes care of his ailing mother and still clings to his dream of doing stand up comedy. Over the course of the film, we see society at large fail him by cutting the mental health services that the poorer members of society rely on, his troubles at work (some his own doing, some not), things falling apart at home and even his efforts to pursue his dream being mocked by those he idolizes. While it doesn't excuse his reaction to the things that happen to him in the film (the subway incident is a real turning point in his life), it does explain them. The main theme of the film is a caution that sometimes we create our own monsters.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Koroush Ghazi
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 October 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1527
Posted: 29 October 2019 at 5:46am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

This is precisely what I meant when I said that any "message" you may get from watching these types of faux-profound movies is probably the wrong one and any discussion they generate is likely ill-informed.

Again, a psychopath like the Joker is largely the result of genetic inability to empathise with others. formally defined as:


 QUOTE:
a person having an egocentric and antisocial personality marked by a lack of remorse for one's actions, an absence of empathy for others, and often criminal tendencies


An insane person on the other hand:


 QUOTE:
exhibit[s] a severely disordered state of mind; unable to think in a clear or sensible way


Which do you think describes the Joker, both in the comics and in the movie - disordered and irrational, or organised but uncaring?

The point again being that a "careless society" is not largely responsible for psychopaths or similar untreatable conditions. There are numerous articles pointing this out, e.g. here, and here.

From everything I've read, Joker, like similar movies before it, is compelling because you see a bunch of realistically portrayed disturbing stuff on the screen. But these messages people supposedly get from the film, like those before them, don't really say anything new, or even apply to the Joker!



Edited by Koroush Ghazi on 29 October 2019 at 5:49am
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Fred J Chamberlain
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 30 August 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3920
Posted: 29 October 2019 at 5:52am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

This film was both disturbing and heartbreaking. Some
very clear social narratives going on, though I am
concerned about the take away that audiences, who get
their news and narrative from entertainment and
unsubstantiated sources, gather from it.


Living in a world that includes mental illness tends
to make people extremely uncomfortable, leaving that
population routinely ignored or looked upon with
ridicule and suspicion. Despite the facts, despite
valid studies, many don't or won't accept the fact
that it isn't the mentally ill that should be targeted
as potential threats. More common predictors are age,
gender, socioeconomic status and history of violence.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Rodrigo castellanos
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 03 July 2012
Location: Uruguay
Posts: 435
Posted: 29 October 2019 at 8:08am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Despite seeing several bad things happening to the character, I still think the film doesn't make excuses or "blame society" for the Joker once he starts inflicting violence upon others. You're not supposed to sympathize with him IMHO, and there are many signs that something's very wrong with him regardless of the bad things we see happen to him in the film. But the film does walk a very tight rope.

The point again being that a "careless society" is not largely responsible for psychopaths or similar untreatable conditions. There are numerous articles pointing this out, e.g. here, and here.

I don't know about the "careless society" thing, but if you look into the life of violent sociopaths and the like 99% of the time you'll find a history of abuse.

Should we apply this real world logic/psychology to a character like the Joker (someone unlike any real person existing in the real world)? I don't know, probably not.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Koroush Ghazi
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 October 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1527
Posted: 30 October 2019 at 7:46pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

  wrote:
I don't know about the "careless society" thing, but if you look into the life of violent sociopaths and the like 99% of the time you'll find a history of abuse.


This is a great example of misinformation. No, you won't find abuse in the history of 99% of psychopaths/sociopaths. There is no clear cause of psychopathy.

This article summarises some key points:


 QUOTE:
Psychopaths sometimes have a genetic predisposition that makes them the way they are.

There are some biological differences in the brains of psychopaths compared to the general population.

Other research suggests that it is someone’s upbringing that has an impact on whether they become a psychopath.

It's likely to be a mixture of nature and nurture that turns someone into a psychopath, and they’re likely to use both to their advantage to manipulate others.


So the concept that abuse or careless society is largely responsible for psychopaths is wrong. It is a contributor, but not the sole, or necessarily even a major one, depending on which school of thought you subscribe to.

If the Joker had loving parents and was raised in a wonderful environment, there would still be a sizeable chance that he would wind up a psychopath regardless, because his egocentric, narcissistic tendencies, combined with an inability to care about how other people feel, would lead him to that.

If the movie is trying to say that bad environments lead to bad people, aside from being a tedious oversimplification, it's not even the story of the Joker. He started off a homicidal psycho in the comics, and was eventually ascribed a traumatic event that triggered his killing sprees (if I'm not mistaken?). So what is the actual point of the movie?

I've become a bit of a broken record now, so I'll leave the thread there. The reason this resonates with me is because I can see the dangers of movies becoming increasingly more compelling, while simultaneously getting further and further away from representing the facts, even distorting them, while being totally unaccountable (the old "movies aren't documentaries!" justification).

My own interest in this phenomenon began when the movie 300 portrayed my ancestors the Persians as inhuman perverted beasts (Literally! Thank you Frank Miller!) who invaded Sparta unprovoked, and the Spartans as a handful of patriotic jovial defenders of freedom. In reality, the Persians attacked Greece only in response to numerous attacks on Persian cities and general piracy, they were the first to ban slavery, and they were the first monotheists to worship the predecessor of the modern "God".

Conversely, the Spartans had a society based entirely on slavery, they hunted unarmed slaves for sport, fought against the other Greeks, even making a pact with the Persians to do so at one point, and only withstood as long as they could at Thermopylae because there were tens of thousands of other Greek soldiers there, and it was a narrow mountain pass. As one professor of Greek history said Sparta? No, this is madness

Yes, movies aren't meant to be factual, but they are highly influential, and thus very dangerous when used to convey the wrong message.



Edited by Koroush Ghazi on 30 October 2019 at 7:51pm
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Rodrigo castellanos
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 03 July 2012
Location: Uruguay
Posts: 435
Posted: 31 October 2019 at 12:56am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

No, you won't find abuse in the history of 99% of psychopaths/sociopaths.

You're misreading me, I said VIOLENT sociopaths/psychopaths, meaning serial killers and the like. You will find a history of abuse in the vast majority of their backgrounds. That doesn't mean it's the sole cause for their violent behavior, that's a subtle but important difference. And obviously, just to clarify, it doesn't imply that every person who has suffered some form of abuse will turn out a psycho. Most, fortunately, don't.

Psychopaths sometimes have a genetic predisposition that makes them the way they are.

That seems to imply some people are "born bad". That is not true.

If the Joker had loving parents and was raised in a wonderful environment, there would still be a sizeable chance that he would wind up a psychopath regardless, because his egocentric, narcissistic tendencies, combined with an inability to care about how other people feel, would lead him to that

Again, the difference is what we define as a "violent psychopath". And I think direct, physical violence inflicted upon others is where you draw the line. I happen to think Donald Trump shares a lot of characteristics with the diagnosis of a psychopathic personality but he's not killing people in dark alleys or robbing banks with a clown mask, he has other outlets to let that out like the business world, the television world and now, the actual world. He was raised in a very privileged environment, the "loving parents" thing, not that much.

If the movie is trying to say that bad environments lead to bad people, aside from being a tedious oversimplification, it's not even the story of the Joker. He started off a homicidal psycho in the comics, and was eventually ascribed a traumatic event that triggered his killing sprees (if I'm not mistaken?). So what is the actual point of the movie?

Dude, just see the movie if you're interested. It's very hard to discuss it with someone's assumptions of what the film is like.

My own interest in this phenomenon began when the movie 300 portrayed my ancestors the Persians as inhuman perverted beasts (Literally! Thank you Frank Miller!) who invaded Sparta unprovoked, and the Spartans as a handful of patriotic jovial defenders of freedom. 

I'm 100% with you on that. 


Back to Top profile | search
 
Christopher Frost
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 24 October 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 361
Posted: 31 October 2019 at 8:32pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

"Dude, just see the movie if you're interested. It's very hard to discuss it with someone's assumptions of what the film is like."


Exactly. If I'm going to be lectured about a movie and told that I am getting the wrong message out of it, I'd prefer it came from someone who has actually seen it and can better judge what they are talking about.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Matt Reed
Byrne Robotics Security
Avatar
Robotmod

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 33243
Posted: 01 November 2019 at 12:56am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Fair point.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian Rhodes
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3114
Posted: 01 November 2019 at 7:29am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Societal and psychological issues aside, I echo the sentiment: what is the point of this movie? It was touted as a Joker origin story, but, from what I've gathered, the protagonist may not A) even be the actual Joker, even within the reality of this film, partly because B) a lot of what happens in the movie may have just been in his head.

It just comes off, to me, as a sloppy pastiche of TAXI DRIVER, THE KING OF COMEDY, and AMERICAN PSYCHO. The first, I didn't much care for, the second, I never worked up enough interest in seeing, and the third, I liked quite a bit, but as its own entity, not appropriated for a slant on a character that is already so far afield of the source material that using the "Joker" moniker at all just seems a lazy way to get a dodgy project produced.

So, again, what is the point? To "make one think"?? In that, it's already succeeded. It makes me think I won't go see it. 

Edited by Brian Rhodes on 01 November 2019 at 7:30am
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 

<< Prev Page of 22 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login