Below are some additional insights and viewpoints.
•Thomas Wayne — More akin to an 80s slime-ball personified by Gordon Geecko, than the philanthropic humanitarian as shown to be in every other version. Basically the guys is an asshole, and I have no problem believing he altered records to deny parentage of Arthur Fleck.
•Mental Health System — concerned professionals, or pencil pushing bureaucrats cashing a pay check? The film portrayed the government run mental health system as underfunded and inept or both.
•The drugs — cause of many of Arthur’s problems?
•Childhood traumas — only hinted at and briefly mentioned, not explored.
•Adult bullying — a topic we don’t see often enough, well done in this film.
•Exploited and repressed employees — something that goes on much more than we are aware because it is often not admitted. It is not covered in news media, or in popular fiction. In Joker, it is obvious Fleck in some ways, if not exploited, is repressed by his employer and some fellow employees. (May be a future book)
•An overarching theme of “haves and have nots,” — well executed, and as real as it was during the timeline of the film, as it is today.
•Potentially acting as a “trigger” — I am not fond of the way writers and other artists and their works are being subjected to the term “trigger.” I don’t use it when describing my own work, for several reasons, perhaps first and foremost is because it is FICTION! There are greater “triggers” on the evening news and in real life. After seeing the movie, I was left to wonder, if the controversy was created and stoked from within as a marketing ploy.
•In some iterations of “The Batman Motif,” — it is the existence of Batman which creates the “super villains.” In Joker, it is made clear, Arthur Fleck has a major hand in creating The Batman.
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I write of the damaged and broken, because that is the norm. For each person who overcomes their demons, there are hundreds, if not thousands, who do not.