Given First Reactions, We Guess We’ll Have To See The Joker

It’s hard to deny what Kevin Burwick from MovieWeb has written has merit since despite the misgivings felt by the upcoming Joker movie it’s hard to fully deny that it might actually make a bit of sense and grant a different look at a very classic villain. That’s still kind of hard to say since exposing the origin of such an iconic character even in a movie that has nothing to do with the source that spawned the character is gut-wrenching as a writer since the mystique seems to be sucked right out of the story. But then again, as writers we learn to adapt and to evolve and if you can turn this uncertain and very ambiguous-looking stone to see the kind of gem that might hide underneath it could be that you’ll be able to admit that Joker might have some redeeming qualities. After all there’s still a hint of madness there that might have a well-defined origin but still comes from a place we know so little about. The human psyche after all can go in a startling number of ways when a person is pushed to their limits, and it’s interesting to see just what direction it will take. This could be one of the reasons why critics and fans alike are excited for this movie.

Madness is something you don’t always see the promise in since it tends to shift so radically from one foot to the other, and with the Joker that seems to mean it could go any which way it wants. But with this upcoming movie it definitely seems to start from a darker place than it ever has in the past, stripping away all the makeup to start with and gradually applying one layer after another until the insanity finally starts to spread. Unfortunately for some such as Stephanie Zacharek of Time, and likely quite a few others, that madness is something to be ridiculed and kept at a distance while downplaying just what it means to fall headlong into it as some seem to imply that the movie is a sign of our times and is nothing more than a bad joke on us. It could be, there’s always the chance that it might be a sad running commentary on the world as it is now, but at the same time the ability to embrace the madness can sometimes mean that you have a way to see through it and to the heart of the matter. Those that remain on the outside tend to think that they have a good handle on what madness is, what it looks like, and what drives those that are sucked into the maelstrom. What they don’t always realize is that masks we wear ARE the madness, and no one remains untouched for long.

Germain Lussier of Gizmodo puts things into perspective when he states that this is a comic book movie that’s removed the comic book aspect. Arthur might live in Gotham but this place is as far removed from the Batman legacy as can be at this point since the city is a bomb waiting for a fuse, and Arthur is the one that lights it eventually. Disillusioned, cast aside, and basically thought of as a creep by just about everyone, he’s the kind of guy you don’t worry about since he seems to be meek and not at all interested in fighting back. Unfortunately history should tell us that these are some of the most dangerous people in the world since when they DO end up fighting back it becomes a war that no one was ready for. And in the case of the Joker it’s always been a surety that he’ll be bringing the one thing that’s harder to combat than many other conventional weapons. In short, the Joker brings madness. It’s not a disease or even a compulsion, it’s a liberation of inhibition that the Joker causes, a breaking down of the barriers between order and chaos that so many of us feel the need to raise just so we’re not continually consumed by the warring ideologies that keep a society on the straight and narrow and prevent it from crumbling. Heath Ledger said it best in The Dark Knight “I’m an agent of chaos.”

That’s what the Joker represents and that’s what this movie seems to be about from one perspective at least. In that manner it might be that we’ll have to go see it since no matter if the movie isn’t connected to Batman and even if it’s not bound to in a sequel, the madness is what the Joker brings and it’s what he does best. That’s the whole point of the character after all is the chaos he brings and the feelings of madness that he seems to spread about. Sometimes it’s better to embrace the madness than run from it.

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