The Joker doing his joker thing and causing deep unease

Looks like the new Joker movie has opened to some controversy:

But “Joker” is also causing deep unease. Some people, including a few rank-and-file employees on the Warner Bros. lot, worry that the violent, hyper-realistic movie is potentially dangerous — that rather than critiquing the societal failings that have given rise to America’s mass-shooter crisis, the film legitimizes such atrocities and could provoke more of them.

I haven’t seen it yet, so no spoilers here. What I’m finding fascinating is people’s reactions, one of empathy, toward the main character which I think is bound to happen when a villian is cast in the lead role. In story structure, we’re used to the main character being the hero of the story, especially in comic book movies.  But of course it gets crazy when people let the emotiveness of a movie spill over into real life. The FBI have sounded the alarm:

Amid the critical praise are scorching reviews that use words like “irresponsible.” The F.B.I. has warned about ugly online chatter surrounding “Joker,” prompting the police in cities including New York and Los Angeles to step up theater security and reigniting the debate over First Amendment rights versus Hollywood accountability. Relatives and friends of those killed during the 2012 movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., sent a letter to Warner Bros. expressing disquiet over “Joker” and its empathetic depiction of the character.

Warner Bros says it was not their intention to hold Joker up as a hero. They just wanted to make a gritty film with edge:

It was very much the intention, however, to make an audacious, boundary-pushing movie — one that could cut through the deluge of Netflix-Amazon-YouTube streaming content and get people out to movie theaters to buy tickets. When in doubt, sharpen the edges

I like the Joker as a character when he’s philosophically contrasted against Batman, especially as Nolan’s portrayed as a pure agent of Chaos, above and beyond the concepts of good and evil.

I’m looking forward to seeing the Joker’s re-invented backstory developed in a modern context.

Link: ‘Joker’ Movie Is a Risk, but a Calculated One, for Warner Bros.


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