All of you know I’m a big movie guy. Some of the best movie theater experiences that I’ve had this year have been behind the momentum of great audience buzz. Films like “Avengers: Endgame:”, “Downton Abbey”, and the “Friends” 25th Anniversary (which is the same stuff you can watch on demand) were all a lot of fun because of a mutual admiration of the material.
Now this week, we come to “Joker”. And it’s the complete opposite.
The film starring Joaquin Phoenix, that is based on one of the biggest fictional villains of all time, is carrying a stigma which consists of both an outrage culture-based shaming of the perceived glorification of mental illness, and a potential for real life terror attacks (stories HERE and HERE).
I can tell you that one is based on an ignorance of the material, and the other is the kind of fear inducing social noise that would make the fictional Joker very proud.
If you want to see the movie, then see it.
I haven’t seen the film yet. The problem is neither have most of those who are telling you it’s wrong to see it. This is a villain’s story, and the studio is on record saying that if you see it as the glorification of the actions of a sick man then you’re getting it wrong.
And if you’re familiar with the Joker (and really who isn’t?) you know he blew up a hospital in “The Dark Knight” and has done many other terrible things in the comic books.
Simply put, admiring the Joker for his violence is on the same track as taking up cannibalism because you thought Hannibal Lecter was a nice guy at some points of the “Silence of the Lambs” mythology.
Then we have the real troubling part of this buzz. The possibility of real life violence.
We haven’t forgotten about Aurora, Colorado and the tragedy that took place during that Batman film.
I am a firm believer of “If you see something, say something”, and the sad truth is that you should always be on the alert.
But terror can’t keep us from living our lives. Especially, here in Orlando where we’ve been attacked before. To hell with that.
We won’t be confined to our homes in our community because of fear.
Shaming and fear-mongering. What an unfortunate formula for what is suppose to be a fun escape for us.
You shouldn’t bow to either.
If you want to see this movie, then see it.