As per the article written by Ryan Scott of MovieWeb, Warner Bros. has actually stated that their movies don’t endorse violence of any kind, and that’s easy to believe, but madness, even fabricated madness, is kind of influential to those that find themselves capable of falling headfirst into it. And despite being fictional, the Joker is absolute madness personified since the moment he was conceptualized his character has been nothing short of a lunatic that’s been depicted as chaos in human form. To think that such a character wouldn’t inspire anyone among 7 billion individuals to act in kind is kind of naive, even if a good chunk of them don’t watch the character or have never even heard of him. Stating that a movie such as Joker doesn’t advocate violence in its own way is also a rather loaded statement since it seems to blanket the issue rather than address it head-on.
You want the story? So far from the trailer here’s what we have, Joker is all about an individual that fails as a comedian, is a miserable human being, and as a result starts going insane and finding ways to take it out on the world around him. As the madness takes hold others start to follow what he’s doing and as a result, chaos ensues. Does anyone really think that this wouldn’t translate into real life? If so those folks didn’t hear about the incident in Aurora, Colorado back in 2012 must have flown right over their heads. Ryan Parker of The Hollywood Reporter has more on this and even goes into the concerns that some people have about this upcoming movie. Honestly, it’s not a big desire to say that movies have that much power over the way we live, and it’s not a desire to say that people are so feeble-minded that they’ll take the actions of a fictional character as gospel, but obviously it’s happened and there’s nothing to say that it won’t happen again. But Warner Bros. doesn’t seem to believe that and doesn’t seem to think it’s an issue. One can only hope they’re right since quite honestly this aspect of the Joker seems as though he’s going to be even more unhinged and prone to influencing people than any other version has been in the past.
You can’t help but think that Heath Ledger’s Joker would have been the most dangerous since he was madness personified. Joaquin Phoenix’s version seems pretty nuts thus far, but it’s the eventual breakdown of a man that we seem to be seeing in the trailers, not an individual that’s steeped in mystery and has already rounded the bend into full-blown madness. That’s a big part of why the Joker has been so popular for so long, the fact that his madness is so over the top that anyone trying to mimic him is bound to fail simply because that level of madness is hard to see outside of an insane asylum. With Phoenix’s version it does seem as though there’s a much more human aspect to the character that might serve as a buffer for the overall influence that he might carry across the screen. As far as advocating for violence there’s simply too much human feeling in the movie it would seem, and it could very easily resonate with those in this country that can easily believe that breaking down and causing a riot is what’s in their best interest.
Personally I’d rather state that movies don’t advocate or even cause violence, but the opposite has been seen in the past and it’s not one hundred percent accurate to state that it will never happen again. The fact that the movie has violence in it isn’t enough to condemn it or ban it from a movie theater in my humble opinion, but all in all it does show a good deal of realistic violence that people could follow, might follow, and yet won’t necessarily follow. If that’s advocacy, and in a way, a very thin way, then yes it is. But if that’s the standard then we’d have to list a whole line of movies down throughout the years that would be dangerous in the same regard, so honestly it’s best to say that while it might advocate for violence, it’s also meant to be taken as entertainment just as any other movie. If anything, and Ana Dumaraog from ScreenRant might agree, it’s important to be vigilant in an era when it doesn’t take much for anyone to feel triggered, offended, and somehow marginalized to the point that they’ll think that violence is the only way to move forward. It’s a bit saddening to think that things have come to this yet again in our country, but to be honest, madness isn’t something that needs much more than a nudge to infect even the strongest of wills.
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