“Joker” film highlights mental illness as main theme

Emma Veale Photography Editor

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Some readers might recall the horrific incident during the premiere of “Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. The shooting left twelve people killed and seventy others were injured, 58 of them were from gunfire. Because of this, there was an increased police presence in all major U.S city theatres on the night of the new movie “Joker.”

The movie portrays a man that always seemed a little off, but always had good intentions. When Arthur was younger he suffered major brain trauma at the hands of his adoptive mom’s abusive ex-boyfriend.

Because of this he had a laughing disorder and various other mental illnesses, where anytime he felt nervous, scared, mad, disgusted he uttered a disturbing laugh. He also imagined relationships that were never there.

Arthur was a good man who was always smiling. He saw people for who they were, good or evil. His extensive illnesses didn’t corrupt him and make him the Joker, people did. When Arthur gets one of his laughing attacks, you see everyone around him rolling their eyes. He hates that it’s an annoyance to others around him so he chokes himself to make it stop.This movie is very timely for what is happening today. Mental health should be discussed more.

In one particular scene, Arthur is speaking with his social worker. After a few meetings, Arthur finally budges and says, “You don’t listen, do you?” “They’re shutting us down Arthur,” She replies. “They don’t give a s*** about people like you.” Even though this is a fictional movie it speaks a lot to this day in age. Does the government or society really care about people with mental illness?

Sure, they make a Suicide Prevention Month, but are they truly doing anything to help those that suffer? In another scene Arthur goes to a mental hospital where his mother was admitted to find out more about his childhood. It cuts to a scene where he’s in an elevator with a police officer, a doctor, and a patient on a gurney who seems to be having psychotic episode.

When you look at the doctor’s and the police officer’s faces, both of them are rolling their eyes at this patient. Arthur was a diagnosed sociopath which means he loved the attention his crimes received and felt no remorse. He believed he was doing Gotham City a favor by killing people who had no remorse for people like him. Arthur was mentally ill, and looked for help but very quickly gave up. “Joker” premiered in theaters on October 4, 2019, six days before World Mental Health Day. This movie sends a message, not of violence, but of awareness.

Nobody is alone. Everyone deals with mental illness differently. Some seek help while others may not be ready. People can be on both ends of the spectrum, but there are resources out there to help.