“Joker” Blurs The Lines

Dawsyn Perry, writer

Todd Phillips’ new work, “Joker,” sparked interest from all comic and superhero fans alike.


This film dives into the mind of a damaged person named Arthur Fleck.


Throughout the piece, Arthur deals with his misinterpretation of the difference between fantasy and reality.


By the time the climax comes, we, as an audience, are not even made aware of the delusions the protagonist had been experiencing.


Once we discover that Arthur had projected his experiences with his girlfriend, that we’ve seen him spend time with earlier in the film, we are shown the severity of Arthur’s situation.


We see how easily his mind runs throughout the movie. Scenes such as the illusion of Arthur on the Franklin Murray Show, him at the stand up comedy club, and, of course, his girlfriend, blindside us when we realize it was all in his imagination.


By the end of the film, we are left with uncertainty.


Similar to how he had been interviewed throughout the movie by the social worker, we find that he is also being interviewed by a psychologist working for a mental institution.

At this point, we can’t even determine if the entire movie has been a construction from within Arthur’s mind. 


The psychological twist is challenging to analyze on its own, but during the movie, we also follow Arthur attempting to discover his origin as a person.


This ultimately leads him to figure out the disturbing truth that his mother’s boyfriend abused him as a child, explaining his interesting personally and mental health issues.


Despite most people believing this movie to be too sympathetic towards one of the most iconic and brutal villains in literature, the purpose of showing a fully fleshed out story for someone like Arthur is to understand what may lead someone to do the actions that a character such as the Joker is known for.


The Joker proves that villains can be the center of a story and that there is much more to explore than what may seem to be boring motivation like pure evilness.


One thing to take away from “Joker” is that nothing has to go the direction people are expecting in order to succeed. Risks are what make life, and film, interesting to go through.


Todd Phillips’ took on a challenge by signing on as director for “Joker” and the fans are, and will continue to be, thankful for what he gave them.