For American leftists who believe white men are the oppressors of all races and can never suffer subjugation because they have all the privileges and hold all the powers, Todd Philips’ “Joker” can be very confusing.
The movie’s anti-hero Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a white American male, is crushed by poverty, deformed by mental illness, and torn apart by his understanding that his father had abandoned him; it does not get any more brutal than this. But liberals can simply disregard all that as the fiction of a white director. What they cannot ignore, however, is how the movie was received by the audience, they loved it. People sympathised with the Joker, a victim who is a white male.
Liberals cannot explain the movie’s good reception through institutionalised brainwashing and coercion; it is just genuine human sympathy. The point is especially poignant because the movie never insinuates that Arthur is a rabid dog that needs to be put down, even after he shoots Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) on air in cold blood without any sane reason whatsoever.
But there is more to “Joker.” While the murders of its anti-hero can be partially blamed on mental illness, the behaviour of the three rich white Wall Street bullies cannot. They are portrayed as predators looking for innocent people to harass and torture just for fun; they were the final straw after which Arthur completely snapped and surrendered completely to his impulsive violent proclivities.
Towards the end of the movie, civil unrest begins brewing with protests against rich people over cuts to social welfare. No motives are fully explained and the movie does not take sides, because it is not a political picture, but a character driven drama. For someone who espouses an unwavering anti-white ideology, this can be very confusing.
This movie is also accused of emboldening incels (involuntary celibates, mainly denoting young men who live with their mothers because they have failed at living independently or finding a girlfriend).
British film analyst The Critical Drinker lamented in one of his videos how movies nowadays are praised for their themes and messages instead of filmmaking prowess, as well as how the two are used to explain plot holes and parts that do not really work. It is different here. The theme of being oppressed by factors the Joker has absolutely no control over meshes perfectly with how the film plays out. For example, Egyptian director Yousry Nasrallah commented about how the movie’s pacing matched Arthur’s mental state – tender and slow at times while fast and unpredictable at others.
“Joker” is an intimate film about a man who failed to connect with the people around him and regressed to the deep recesses of his – what society would describe as a – broken mind.