Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1059/29699

From The Socialist newspaper, 9 October 2019

Film review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions

Joker

Joker   (Click to enlarge)

Ryan Aldred, Plymouth Socialist Party

The most striking thing about this film is how gritty and believable it is. Based on the origin story of one of the most iconic comic book villains of all time, and situated in Gotham City, a carbon copy of New York City, this film is set in the 80s.

However, it echoes the incendiary economic and political situation of today. Tension and frustration build among working-class people against their conditions portrayed in the movie.

Poor-quality housing, rising crime, poverty, cuts to mental health services, uncompromising bosses and increasing civil unrest are abound and help shape the Joker's character. What makes the movie so compelling is that it holds up a mirror to the realities of austerity faced by the viewer.

A perfect storm develops. Cut off from psychiatric help due to cut services, mixed with the instability of precarious working conditions.

This is topped off with an incident, subject to the cruelty and entitlement of what effectively represents the capitalist class, causing Arthur Fleck (Joker) to snap. An act of extreme violence against those representing big business strikes a chord and sets off a movement.

At times the Joker not only comes across as sympathetic but often relatable. What makes Joaquin Phoenix's Joker so terrifying is that he isn't overblown and cartoonish but realistic and entirely plausible.

We can relate because it is very clear that the capitalist system is laid bare, shown for all of its failings, a stark contrast between the haves and have nots. Where that relatability ends is in the action the Joker takes to strike back against the system, manifested in part due to his developing psychosis.

We the audience empathise because we too want to strike out against a system that is so utterly broken. Where that empathy ends is seeing that action being translated into what can only be described as terrorism through the actions of the Joker.

At the end of the movie we're left with an uneasy feeling of both sympathising with the tragic creation of the Joker, while being horrified at the monster that's created out of the monstrous conditions which we also inhabit.

Joker reflects the rotten system we live in and serves as a stark warning to the kind of ideas that might flourish if we allow that system to continue. It's certainly worth a watch.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 9 October 2019:


What we think

Brexit theatrics continue

Syria: Trump gives green light to Turkey to attack Kurds


News

Cutting, lying Tories - kick them out!

Asda workers protest callous bosses

Cynical Tories' domestic violence bill not enough


Labour and workers' rights

Corbyn promises 'power in the hands of workers' - how can Labour do it?

Labour and the fight for a shorter working week


Obituary

Tony Mulhearn 1939-2019


Workplace news

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

Equity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

Vote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

Sainsbury's strikers win

Unison's retired members reflect growing anger

Lincolnshire health visitors strike


Chinese revolution

Chinese revolution of 1944-49: 'The second greatest event in human history'


International socialist news and analysis

Trump, impeachment and the need for an independent workers' party


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialism: The alternative to capitalist austerity, low pay and crisis

Best way to fight back? Join the Socialist Party

Socialism 2019: why I'm going... and why you should too!

Waltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

Selling the Socialist

York freshers success


Reviews

Book review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

Film review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions


 

Home   |   The Socialist 9 October 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Review:

triangleTV review: The Trial of Christine Keeler

triangleHS2 debacle: nationalise rail and construction!

triangleTV Review: Apocalypse Cow

triangleBook review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

triangleTV Review: Chernobyl - Workers' heroism vs sclerotic Stalinism

Film:

triangleFilm reviews: Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach

triangle'Green Book' film: a timely reminder of racism in the USA

triangleFilm: Vice - Dick Cheney - a cold and calculating opportunist

Strike:

triangleWestex carpet strike

triangleUniversity and College Union: Pensions, pay and conditions dispute reach a crucial stage

triangleEnd health and wealth divide - Fight for our NHS

Capitalist:

triangleTrump's trashing of the environment - Dump the capitalist profit system!

triangleNo 'blank cheque' for Labour leadership candidates

Austerity:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

29/1/20

Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

29/1/20

Review

TV review: The Trial of Christine Keeler

22/1/20

Revolution

Robert Burns: of the people, for the people

22/1/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

15/1/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

15/1/20

George Monbiot

TV Review: Apocalypse Cow

15/1/20

Food

Sustainable food production and the need for socialism

8/1/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

4/12/19

Socialist Party

The Great Big Socialist Party Quiz 2019

27/11/19

Plymouth

Plymouth Blairites side with anti-tenant landlords

27/11/19

Minimum wage

Minimum wage debate

27/11/19

BT

The private sector will never provide broadband to every home, nationalisation will

20/11/19

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

13/11/19

Theatre

Theatre: On Bear Ridge - an examination of loss, set in a post-apocalyptic world

13/11/19

Social Media

Readers' opinion: Twitter's banning of political ads threatens workers' voice

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999