The Joker: How Arthur Fleck became the iconic villain

Promotional poster for The Joker.

Courtesy Photo

Promotional poster for The Joker.

Avante Taylor, Staff Writer

The Joker, with the main character played by Joaquin Phoenix, describes  Arthur Fleck, a part-time rent-a-clown working for a low talent agency full of exaggerated idiots. Arthur is mentally ill and coping with meds and court-ordered therapy, which doesn’t offer comfort or represent caring. He’s devoted to his sick mother Penny who is played by Frances Conroy, and she encourages him to see himself as a joyous light in the world and bringing laughter to the people.

The problem is Fleck only sees himself as a psychotic, socially awkward individual who can go from stable to violent in an instant. Most people can feel his desire to be loved but can’t love his being.

Throughout the film, Fleck is hurt multiple times by little kids and adults for being a clown. Whenever this happens, Arthur is prone to violent behavior. Throughout the film, it does show most of the ugly side of the Joker and how he is created. For example, an iconic part of the movie is when The Joker is in a run-down bathroom in Gotham, and he is dancing after he has just killed three men. This is iconic because it shows the beginning of the Joker’s character. He’s portrayed as a kind of dark truth-teller because he’s concluded that the world is a joke and nothing matters.

Although the movie was out for a period of time, I believe the Joker is a great film because it does a good job portraying the development of the Joker, which I thought was very important. Also, this movie did a good job of showing the very ugly but very honest life of Arthur Fleck.

According to Ann Hornaday, a movie critic for the Washington Post, “A grim, shallow, distractingly derivative homage to 1970s movies at their grittiest, Joker? continues the dubious darker-is-deeper tradition.”

Junior Logan Abell stated, “I thought that it was a realistic depiction of a relatable villain that isn’t too exaggerated. I felt that the movie was extremely dark but in a relatable way.”