Winner of a 'Golden Lion' Best Picture award at the 'Venice Film Festival', Warners' R-rated live-action "Joker" movie is already stirring up controversy for its glorification of a homicidal 'anti-hero' in a dark drama rife with mental illness, urban decay, big-city alienation and fascist, left-wing anti-capitalism:
"...'Joker' is a movie about homicidal narcissist 'Arthur' (Phoenix) who feels entitled to the world's attention — a man who'd rather kill for a good laugh than allow the world to treat him like its punchline.
"It is also a movie about the dehumanizing effects of a capitalistic system that greases the economic ladder, blurring the line between private wealth and personal worth until life itself loses its absolute value..."
"...the movie's cracks — and it's practically all cracks — are stuffed with phony philosophy. 'Joker' is dark only in a stupidly adolescent way, but it wants us to think it's imparting subtle political or cultural wisdom...."
"'Arthur' inspires chaos and anarchy, but the movie makes it look like he's starting a revolution, where the rich are taken down, the poor get everything they need and deserve, and the sad guys who can't get a date become killer heroes. There's a sick joke in there somewhere. Unfortunately, it's on us..."
"One of the central points of contention around this comic-book villain origin story is that it in some way panders to 'incel culture', or 'involuntary celibates' – men who see themselves as losers and 'beta males' who women don't want to sleep with.
"Angry, misogynistic and feeling entitled to sex and attention, incels have been prone to real-world violence. The hand-wringing of cultural commentators is concerned that Joker might spark copycat violence or make the character a sort of folk hero for incels. It's a possibility..."
Created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, comic book villain 'Joker' debuted in the first issue of DC Comics' "Batman" (April 25, 1940)...
...inspired by the German Expressionist film "The Man Who Laughs" based on the novel by author Victor Hugo.
The comic book Joker is usually portrayed as a deranged, criminal mastermind...
...with a warped, sadistic sense of humor.
He evolved into a 'goofy prankster' in the late 1950's in response to regulations by the 'Comics Code Authority'...
...before returning to his darker roots.
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Joker"...