At one point or another, everyone has felt the anguish of being on the outside, has experienced the darkness of trying your best just to have the world laugh at your efforts. The traditional comic origin story for the Joker character in Batman’s Gotham City is that he was disfigured by a vat of industrial chemicals that turned him into an amoral wacko. The dark, intense and brilliant 2019 Joker film has a decidedly different take on the supervillain’s origin, however. In this retelling, Joker is a loser, a perpetually downtrodden and disrespected man called Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix). He dreams of being a stand up comedian, but he’s just not funny and everything he tries turns out to be a fail.
The film opens in early 1980’s era Gotham City (an always handy stand-in for New York City) and it’s ugly. There’s a garbage worker’s strike so the streets are piled high with stinking, rotting trash and there are rats everywhere. Gotham is perpetually dark,…



This is only a snippet of a Parents Article written by Dave Taylor

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