Follow TV Tropes
Plus isn't Joaquin Phoenix Puerto Rican not white?
I always felt the Joker as a character transcended racial issues.
Edited by RedHunter543 on Feb 2nd 2020 at 11:05:28 AM
Many Latinos are white but Phoenix, while born in Puerto Rico, comes from American parents whose ancestors were English, German, French, Russian Jewish, and Hungarian.
Edited by Tuckerscreator on Feb 2nd 2020 at 11:09:23 AM
But still to the point, the media making this movie out to be the story of a mediocre white man is just embarrassing. This movie isn't even about race. The idea of the Joker is more than racial issues, it's about how people treat outsiders, that can mean something regardless of one's race.
Edited by RedHunter543 on Feb 2nd 2020 at 11:13:23 AM
I think that the movie making itself to not be about race demonstrates that it very much is about race.
One thing Film Crit Hulk noted in his review of the movie was that Arthur's assault on the subway mirrors a similar 1984 incident which Phillips cited as an influence on the film. In both cases, the shooter was hailed as an unlikely hero by the media. The difference is, in real life the killer shot four black men and revealed himself to be a devout racist, while in Joker the victims are three easily loathed rich white dudes. So the movie makes the recipents more "raceless" Asshole Victims to make Arthur's vigilantism seem heroic despite the incident it was based on being entrenched in racism. So what good is it to claim one's movie comments on society if one won't accurately represent that society?
Hmmmm, before commenting, i'd like to read up on this incident, first i've heard of it. Interesting.
The issue is, are you sure audiences would necessarily respond the exact same way to a version of Joker where Arthur is, for example, black? The racial critique of the the film comes from observations of reactions to violence such as mass shootings - if the perpetrators were white, many people blamed it on mental illness, racism or other personal failings, but if the perpetrators were black or Muslim, people would claim it proves how they're thugs or terrorists.
Edited by Alycus on Feb 3rd 2020 at 12:39:00 PM
I'm sorry, but is Arthur not a mediocre white guy?
Todd Phillips definitely is. The look on his face when Phoenix was giving his 'stop being assholes' speech at the BAFT As was pure 'how dare you expect me to change in any way,'
He’s a lower class member of society with mental health issues. An aspect of society people are too happy to ignore for even seemingly healthy individuals.
Edited by Beatman1 on Feb 3rd 2020 at 9:45:30 AM
The movie was not about his race, it was about his mental issues. The story had nothing to do with Arthur Fleck being white or about any race issues.
However, media pundits tried to paint the movie as appealing to white people who feel spiteful about the system and them specifically.
It's like that scene where Murray tries to give meaning to Joker killing the Wayne Executives, and Joker shoots it down by saying he just killed them because they were awful.
The thing is, Arthur having mental illness issues does not negate or overshadow his whiteness. How society treats him and his condition is very much (ahem) colored by his race, despite the film trying to avoid commentary on that.
This is true of a lot of situations I see in the mental health community, being a member myself. For instance, one recurring detail I spot often when it comes to white men with neural conditions, versus other demographics like women and people of color, is that they were diagnosed at young ages. Due to having higher chances of good education and larger expectations of potential, white boys with difficult behaviors and poor academic performance are caught early on and thus get access to treatment and therapies sooner. Inversely it's very common for me to see women and people of color who didn't get diagnosed until they were adults, because their issues as kids were dismissed as "being unreasonable".
In a theoretical film where Arthur is black, he may have not even have had the cards to hand out to people disturbed by him. He may not have been able to get away with blowing off the cops who confront him at the hospital. He may have not gotten the therapy visits and thus had no idea what was wrong with him when he starts laughing.
So it's not accurate to say that Joker doesn't discuss race. It does, it just doesn't want to admit it.
Edited by Tuckerscreator on Feb 3rd 2020 at 9:11:08 AM
The movie has a very specific message that I don't think would have been the same if Arthur was a visible minority but he IS an invisible minority in a man suffering a disability.
But the funny thing is his disability isn't what makes him who he is. It's his anger and poverty and narcissism.
It is interesting that I do think the movie addresses racism in the two black women in the story. I also think the movie interpretation where Arthur killed the object of his stalking is the better one because it is a less sympathetic and more disgusting interpretation of his character.
And I think Arthur needed more of that.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Feb 3rd 2020 at 7:47:43 AM
So Joker's apparently getting a live-in concert run.
Deadline: ‘Joker’ Live Concert World Tour To Kick Off In London In April
Because nothing says a critique of class divisions like pricey concerts! Capitalism, amirite?
Edited by M84 on Feb 7th 2020 at 6:27:13 PM
Shit what songs are we gonna do since that sounds legit amazing
We live in a sociaty indeed.
If it's just the score. Then I am done for it.
So there joker talk about race just by the fact arthur is white?.
.....that sound weird, is pretyt much saying "it talk about race because I said so, you saying not is irrelevant".
"but is Arthur not a mediocre white guy?"
...depend on how you define it because it feel is a flame bait in itself.
Damned if you do . Damned if you don't basically.
Yeah, the movie isn't about race, but people will make it about race.
I‘ve been going back and forth on whether I want Joker or 1917 to win Best Picture. Both films are head and shoulders above the others (except maybe Parasite, but Joker’s commentary on class feels a bit more...pointed for me). But I see so many bad faith arguments against Joker that it pushes it over the top for me. I want it to win if only to see the reactions from people.
'Due to having higher chances of good education and larger expectations of potential, white boys with difficult behaviors and poor academic performance are caught early on and thus get access to treatment and therapies sooner'
I mean assuming that is the case.Not sure if thats a point against this movie since the movie is specifically about those who slip though the cracks for one reason or the other.
I dislike the use of the privilege argument in this context since,it comes across like 'There are people that are worse of than you so quit your bitching' with is a dangerous mindset to push in a movie that is (at least partially)about mental health issues
Edited by DeanCole on Feb 8th 2020 at 9:29:43 AM
There's some racial elements in the plot I think that are actually interesting.
Also, the shooting that Arthur does is based on a real life and heavily racially motivated incident.
Reading the wiki article. There seem to be multiple viewpoints in the incident.
I see why they used it since it (the third viewpoint)fits the movies theme,a tragedy
that was the result of a ineffective system.
Edited by DeanCole on Feb 8th 2020 at 11:46:09 AM
Nobody's saying 'you're not allowed to complain about being bullied if you're privileged'. The point is that, since there are people who get oppressed because of their mental illness and additional marginalized traits who don't go off on the mass murderer route, saying that Joker is a story about "white male rage" is accurate. That he's fueled by revenge for ableism doesn't change that he's afforded the capital to be a shooter as a man, than as a woman, or so on.
Edited by Tuckerscreator on Feb 8th 2020 at 11:47:16 AM
The mass murder is a dramatic end to the movie, obviously its not the only result for people suffering with these ( and other) problems.You can replace it with something else and the point will still be the same.
The movie at its core is a cautionary tale about what happens when these problems are ingored.Something which (at least in my opinion) is a universal message.
So yea calling the movie 'white male rage'does feel like a dismissal because of the unnessary focus on his race. Especially when its done in a mocking and condescending tone(looking at you SNL)
Edited by DeanCole on Feb 8th 2020 at 12:31:00 PM
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?