News outlets would rant and rave about how the film would incite violence across the country, since they claimed that the movie glorified the main protagonist who was mentally ill and ended up committing several crimes including several murders.
However, once the movie came out, it turned out that most of that speculation was just that, speculation. In fact, there have been much more violent films coming out of the industry in recent years, and it would’ve been a real strange phenomenon if this was the one which managed to incite violence across the country. Sure, the movie is dark and gritty, but it really only featured just enough violence to make it R rated in the US (MA in Australia). The R rating definitely helped it cement its position as one of the highest grossing movies to ever have come out with that rating. In fact, currently Joker is sitting at the number one spot in this category, having grossed over a billion dollars at the box office.
A deeper dive into the context and the world of incels
But the violence of the film wasn’t the first thing that the critics of the film came after. In fact, that wouldn’t really be a factor without the underlying context. As the news outlets put it, the movie seems to be glorifying a mentally ill loner, and it seemed to them that this would be a rallying cry for all the people who feel the same way in our society. They mainly focused on incels, and in case you don’t know what those are then all you need to know is that it stands for “involuntarily celibate” people. Alright, for some further context, they’re the types of people who you would catch playing Online Sex Games all day long without actually communicating with a female in real life. While playing those games can be fine in and of itself, it can seem a bit weird if that’s all you do without any kind of actual human contact.
So, these are actually the people who the news outlets were so worried about. This was mainly because of the fact that back when The Dark Knight was released (the most notable of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy), one person reportedly was inspired by the chaos that Heath Ledger’s Joker was so committed to in the movie that they ended up shooting up a theater during the projection of said movie. It ended up that this was just a hoax and that the shooter was never really inspired by Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker and was just mentally insane. This didn’t stop the news from spreading like wildfire, and soon enough these rumours managed to sweep the nation by storm.
This is why there is so much bad-mouthing when it comes to Joker. All of this drama was started because in the movie, Joker goes on to commit some heinous acts of violence because of the fact that he’s so mentally ill and such a loner that society doesn’t care about. We’re going into spoiler territory here, so if by any chance you haven’t watched the movie so far then: 1. Go and watch it right now while it’s still in theaters and 2. Beware of the next few paragraphs that we’re about to go through.
What drove Arthur Fleck to become the Joker in the film?
According to the media, it was Arthur’s loner status as well as his mental illness that made him go over the edge. While this is true to some degree, it has to be said that the society around him had to pay a huge role in making him what he is. That’s what the media misses with this movie. People with these conditions can still be functioning members of society as long as they have what they need and the appropriate treatment. In the movie, the city of Gotham ended certain welfare programs which allowed people to see psychiatrists and get the necessary medication for their mental states. When that ended, and Arthur came off the meds, that’s when things really started spiraling out of control. This wasn’t the only thing that happened which made him go crazy.
There have been so many incidents throughout the film where Arthur is literally bullied by the world around him when he wasn’t at fault. He gets beat up by kids and the sign that they destroyed ended up being taken out of his salary. Then there was the incident with the pistol that a co-worker convinced Arthur to buy for his own protection. Unfortunately, the pistol ended up falling out of his clown suit during a performance in a children’s hospital and he ends up being fired over it. Then things really start getting bad as he gets beat up on a train by some white-collar people who work for the Wayne enterprise. Luckily for Arthur, that gun came in handy and he made quick work of them. While he was right to defend himself, some would argue that he took things a bit too far here.
Are incels going to rise up and start killing people because of Joker? No.
All in all, there were so many factors that created the Joker that it’s simply impossible to replicate these circumstances with just one measly R-rated movie. Instead of worrying about things that are never going to happen, perhaps it would do people better to try out some Android Sex Games and see whether they might be able to enjoy those.