Todd Phillips thinks the movie Joker is "very responsible" in its portrayal of violence.
Controversy and groundbreaking movies go hand in hand, there is denying when a discomforting movie is released there is some amount scrutiny the people involved in the movies go through. Pushing buttons will bring people from the woodworks to criticize your work, it is the same with Todd Phillips’ 'Joker.'
The movie was already going through a lot of scrutinies when the film was announced with Joaquin Phoenix in the starring role. Then the trailer for the movies killed some of the early hate, then the film was brought to the film festival circuit with the film premiering at the TIFF and Venice Film Festival where the overwhelming response was the movie is a masterpiece, a combination of 'Taxi Driver' and 'The King of Comedy' for the modern times.
But while the movie was going through the success in Telluride, the families of dead victims of the Aurora Theatre shooting, and also the ones injured during the fateful day in 2012 during the screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises,' wrote a letter to the studio of the movie, Warner Bros., calling on them to distance themselves from the politicians who do not support gun-control legislation. The letter got a response from the studio who claimed Joker is not about supporting mass murder and violence and said they would be donating to charities of gun victims but stopped from disowning the politicians.
Source: Consequence of Sound
There was also another incident where a reporter asked the star of 'Joker,' Joaquin Phoenix, about the real-world implication of the film and instead of giving an answer the actor stood up and left the interview to only return an hour later. There was no shortage of controversy for the movie when the studio decided it was a good idea to stop the press from even be at the red carpet.
'Joker' is causing a lot of discussion of the influence movies and shows in the real world and how the things portrayed on the screen should not be promoting the same type of violence the American society is witness to on a daily basis. It is a good thing all of these controversies are causing some level of discussion, we all need to talk about the implication of heavy-handed portrayal of violence the media and the director of the movie also think so.
“Isn’t it a good thing to put real-world implications on violence?” Todd said while talking after the premiere of Joker at the New York Film Festival. “Isn’t that a good thing to take away the cartoon element of violence that we’ve become so immune to? So I was a little surprised when it turns into that direction, that it seems irresponsible because to me it seems actually very responsible to make it feel real and make it that weight.”
In a way movies are escapism, they are not meant to be the real-world portrayal of our society every time. But Todd is correct in saying we’ve become immune to the cartoony violence in every form of the media. Take 'Fortnite' for example, the violence portrayed is so simple and we brush it aside, most of the players of the game are kids and parents don’t even bat an eye at the violence on screen. It is not how we, as humans, are supposed to react to violence, and there needs to be a mirror held up to the people of this world every now and then to show the visceral nature of violence and the implication of mental health when it comes to gun violence and mass shootings.
Source: Sky News
Todd understands the complicated nature of the thing he is portraying on screen and making it available for the masses to consume but he is also proud of the work which went into making the movie. “It’s a complicated movie and I’ve said it before that I think it’s okay that’s it’s complicated.”
“I didn’t imagine the level of discourse that it’s reached in the world honestly,” the director opened up. “I think it’s interesting. I think it’s okay that it sparks conversations and there are debates around it. The film is the statement and it’s great to talk about it but it’s much more helpful if you’ve seen it.”
Todd also said he is okay with the criticism leveled at his movie but when it comes to people who are talking without even seeing the movie, he is not down with any of it, also, he will take all the free publicity. “I don’t know that it’s hurt the movie. It probably has helped and it’s good to have people talking,” Todd said.
Yes, there is a penchant for violence when it comes to the portrayal on-screen but like reported in the media, the film is not about the Joker being the hero of the story or making him turn into an anti-hero of sorts. The discussion should not be about the violence on the screen, the discussion we all need to be involved in is the role mental health plays in alienating people and pushing them the route of violence.
Watch: The final trailer of Joker directed by Todd Phillips
The movie is a work of art, something the people involved in making are proud of and the bashing and undue hate leveled at movies and music which talk about violence need to stop. The biggest problem facing our society is mental health and the readily available weapons without any background checks. The people in the media need to find another hill to die on, instead of coming after movies and music which are not promoting but shedding light on violence for people to be aware of the root cause of the said violence.
Before you leave, make sure to check out Movies & TV Shows for more on Joker and also visit Glamour Fame for all the latest news on all your favorite celebrities.