The advertising used by the police of New York City in the 70's might be one of the most interesting, iconic aspects of history that reimained in the cinematic industry to this day. It read "Welcome to Fear City" and these pamphlets were being given to the city's tourist arriving population, and somehow it helped the crime and civil crisis to decrease, alongside the historical status it gained through the years.
This concept has been treated by several films that have used it, pictured it and interpreted it in their own way and style, according to the story they tell us, and this includes films like Watchmen or even Sin City. Seing this city so submerged into corruption and evil, it makes us think about how far it is from our actual world and reality. But one thing can be clear, is that the Gotham universe pictures this concept better than any other movie ever made, so we logically get to see some of it in Joker, Tod Phillips's new production.
However, we are then inevitably thinking about a question that's somehow connected this Joker figure's contradiction. Telling his origin is explanatory, and explaining is how we heal our thoughts about him. This explanation makes us wonder if he is actually just his circumstances and social ecosystem's result, or an agent of the chaos by nature, or is he, deep down, the sanest creature in the universe?
Although the script occasionally introduces some characteristics and hints that take us through all the given options, at the end it indentifies itself much better with the first one. So, Joker is really more like the product of the raw and pure experience of Fear City, and this panic that goes hand in hand with our morals has been recently explored in the cinematic industry.
The trailers for Joker gave us some hints that it would be a huge disaster, but in fact, it is actually not. This is a work of clear art and fantasy, but it's still kind of controlled, in a way that the creators wouldn't have to risk too much in the script, making the franchise easily survivable for more productions in the future, in fact its plot and message are so perfectly pointed that it will be impossible to misunderstand this story.
But we can't deny the visible efforts made in this entertaining movie, which pleases the fans of the franchise and its protagonist.
What the tape seems to not be really able to recover from, nor does it want to do so, apparently, is the Batman of Nolan's serious focus and atmosphere, from that badly called “adult” superhero cinema, which is why, or at least that's what we suspect, those responsible have sought that the villain's origin would be easy to identify in our real world, and this in turn, we suspect, determines that this explanatory plot of the Joker alludes to a rotten economic and social system.
Coming back to the beginning, we can't help but ask ourselves whether if we really like that Joker for whom this movie chose to work with. In fact, among of the most tense scenes of the film, Arthur Fleck himself, being already fully and purely turned into the Joker explains that this what the creators intended from the beginning, and it's kind of sad because he can't really live up to the iconic and mercyless feats his character is known for comitting.
It is no anti-1% justice. But he is not mere mentally ill, as they dictate in other stories of the character, instead we have here an empty box to put and reflect the semiotic desires of the audience.