Getting Serious About Joker

The film that opens up a discussion about violence.

Controversy surrounds Warner Bros.’ new movie, “Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck and his transition into the iconic Gotham supervillain, the Joker. 

“I’m pretty interested in the in-depth analysis of the psyche of a character who is famous for being incomprehensible to the normal person,” senior Allan Stacy said. “[The movie will] attempt to make a character who everyone hates into a character with an understandable background.”

There has been talk about whether the movie portrays the Joker in too nice of a light and leaves people with the notion that those actions are excusable if there is a good enough reason, according to

“In America, there’s a mass shooting or attempted act of violence by a guy like Arthur practically every other week” according to “And yet we’re supposed to feel some sympathy for Arthur, the troubled lamb; he just hasn’t had enough love.

Some audiences seem apprehensive toward this new movie, and it has sparked a discussion as to whether movies help to make a murderer. 

Warner Bros
Actor Joaquin Phoenix starring as his own version of the Joker in the new movie.

“I don’t really think a movie could be the sole reason someone chooses to commit a crime,” Stacy said. “There are other factors that’d be in play for someone to be convinced to commit a crime. Perhaps a movie would provide influence or inspiration to push someone over the edge, but to me, it is not the root of it.”

There has been an incident before where a killer took advantage of a theater audience, in which he shot and killed twelve people and injured seventy during a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado, according to This has left the question of wondering if this new movie might inspire the same kind of consequences.

“The controversy of violence around the movie is a bunch of hogwash,” senior Christopher Stuckstede said. “The whole Dark Knight Rises incident seven years ago was just a one-time event that could have happened to any movie. It just so happened to be one related to the Joker.”

Family members of the victims from the shooting have requested that this new movie not be shown in the theater where the incident occurred, and also asked Warner Bros. to make a donation for victims of gun violence.

Warner Bros.
An iconic location of the movie is considered to be the staircase joker stands on.

“For the people that were affected by the shooting seven years ago, I see why they wouldn’t want the movie to be shown in the theater that was related to the shooting,” Stuckstede said. “I can see why they don’t want [those] ghosts from the past. But for other people that really weren’t affected by it, and who are wanting to be a part of something just for the sake of it, it’s not really necessary, in my opinion.”

There have been studies looking into how violence in movies can affect a viewer, but with every new crime that involves a movie the question comes up as to if the movies are responsible for it.

“I think that, in the end, it doesn’t really come down to the movie,” Stuckstede said. “It always comes down to the person. It’s not the movie making the decision. That person is making their own decisions. Whether the movie influences them is up to them and not the movie.”