THE JOKER AFFECT

WARNING: this blog post is of the opinion of my own. I am not a licensed physician. I do not give out any medical advice. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or self harm call 911 or contact The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-8255.

Introduction

Why do we show so much passion for super villainous characters? Maybe it’s because we see a little of ourselves in the developmental of their story. I find it interesting the most villains don’t start out horrifying scary. There’s a backstory to the madness that usually find our antagonist struggling with some type of mental illness. Unlike our hero whose moral fabric is the driving force. It’s an delegate balance between the two whose common ground is both struggling with some form of mental illness or disorder. It’s the villains backstory that drives this point. Separating the human aspect from the morally corrupt you find the bullying affect that we all can relate to. We willingly root for a successful outcome for these villains even knowing how horribly bad it all turns out. We all have a little Joker in us.

WARNING: The Joker movie is very graphic and display disturbing scenes that can be triggers for an episodes. Exercise caution when viewing.

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Who Is The Joker?

Who is the Joker? Depending on your metaphorical interpretation separating the psychopath The Joker from the broken soul Jack Napier or the latest Arthur Fleck. No we’re not a planet of psychopathic killers. We all at some point dealt with the brutal, judgemental and at times an unforgiving side of society. We all wear masks painting over our exposed skin as a shield or protection just like Arthur Fleck. In this adaptation of The Joker alter ego is Arthur Fleck the protagonist. Diagnosed with pseudobulbar affect, Arthur tries to have a normal live. He appears to be meek, timid and a tortured soul who is severely delusional and a victim of his environment. His lines between reality and fantasy are blurred. Its these set of unfortunate circumstances starts him down a path of sadistic anarchy. Joaquin Phoenix interpretation brilliantly displays this side.

Fun Fact: The Joker debut April 25, 1940. He was to be killed off in his first appearance, however the editorial staff gave him a reprieve insuring his survival to be Batman number one arch enemy.

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The Pseudobulbar Affect

Arthur Fleck condition is known as Pseudobulbar Affect. Little is known about this mental illness and because of its symptoms people struggling often gets misdiagnosed. Here are some facts;

Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) is also known as Emotional Lability
is an a type of emotional disturbance and is a mental illness. Sufferers displays unpredictable uncontrolling of crying or laughter. Episodes can manifest in the sufferers reaction to uncomfortable situation.
Some of PBA symptoms are;
*Sudden and unpredictable uncontrolled laughter or crying in response surroundings.
*Outbursts having a duration of a few seconds to several minutes.
*Outburst occurring multiple times during the day.
Pseudobulbar Affect (Mayo Clinic)

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The Joker’s Joke

From the late 1950’s through the early 1970’s Batman’s nemesis The Joker became just that a joke. Parent’s complained that the comics were displaying such violence. The creators and producers took a approach in a attempt to make Batman and cast of evil villains more appealing to the masses. They punked out the characters and thanks to the Comics Code Authority this period the Joker became less interesting and more comical. Although Cesar Romero apdation is tongue and cheek it lacks the essence of that this character. The Joker is deeply flawed. His only reasoning for existence is to create anarchy. A theme brought back during the early 70’s comics with the the killing of Jason Todd the second Robin and ward to Batman.

Batman And Robin: The Caped Crusaders Blu-ray

Fun Fact:
Actor Cesar Romero refused to shave his signature mustache so the makeup artist got creative and painted his mustache the white paint that covered his face. You can’t see the contrast until Cesar did the Joker’s famous laugh.

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May The Force Be With You?

Batman has gone through many reincarnation this includes his wards and list of villains. Getting back to the dark side, Batman Animated Series. tapped Mark Hamill to voice the Joker. Running from September 5, 1992 – September 15, 1995 this animated series follows Batman his ward Robin Dick Grayson first boy wonder later becoming Nightwing. Ward number two orphaned Tim Drake take on Gotham’s underbelly of crime and hardcore criminals. This is a darker Joker seen since the early days. It’s this version that will inspire an Oscar awarding performance.

Batman: The Animated Series Box Set

Fun Facts:
“One Can’t exist without the other”
Is a theme that will write itself into other block busters movies like; Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings and Harry Potter

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Batman: The Dark Knight

Heath Ledger. 2008 portrayal has taken the Joker further down the rabbit hole. Heath goes beyond just being diabolical, psychopath or narcissist The Joker transformation is complete. In this version the theme of “one can’t exist without the other” is evident. You see the cat mouse game between these two flawed and broken nemesis. Unlike Arthur Fleck, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is straight out a psychopath and makes no apologies for being this way. It’s the human trait of struggling that is reflected in Heath award winning performance. Leaving little to no explanation as to how he become that way. You do get a since of wondering where this Joker blurred the lines between reality and fantasy. I guess that question was answered by the latest Joker movie.

The Dark Knight

Fun Fact:
The Joker device in the hospital scene was set to explode on cue and it didn’t. Instead of stopping the scene and doing a retake, Heath stayed in character shaking the device until it actually when off which surprised the actor and everyone on set.

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Victim or Villain

At the beginning of this blog I was angry because it seems like every deranged maniac is always associated with some form of mental illness or disorder. After researching my view changed. Separating the monster from the human, I learned a lot about the human. We all have a little Arthur Fleck inside. I learned more about his character, what makes him tick. There’s no villain in the mental health community. We’re here living everyday life. We’re the bus driver, a postal worker, a receptionist or whatever. We’re no victims. We’re just us.

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WARNING: The Joker movie is very graphic and display disturbing scenes that can be triggers for an episodes. Exercise caution when viewing.

The Joker (2019)

For tickets in your area:
Fandango
AMC Theaters
Cinemark
Fandango UK

Until next time…..

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4 thoughts on “THE JOKER AFFECT”

  1. I was look forward to this post because I really love the Batman/Joker series. I am sorry about what happened to Heath Ledger. I will be seeing the new movie, maybe in the theater or at home. Looking forward to the new story.!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very insightful take on the Joker and I loved reading this post.
    I sometimes wonder if there is a little bit of the Joker in all of us. I’m also wondering why we become fascinated by villains like the Joker, Darth Vader or Hannibal Lecter?
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A perfect piece on the Joker phenomenon! The different casts of Joker over the years is insightful. I think Heath Ledger’s joker stand prominent because we never do get a backstory and his own explanation changes from scene to scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Joker must be one of the most frightening characters to play. Jack Nicholson said it to Heath Ledger that it will mess you up. The modern adaptations of The Joker are a far cry from Caesar Romero’s more cartoonish depiction in the Batman TV series.

    Great post my friend.

    Like

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