I enjoyed it the first time around but didn’t think much of it. The angst and mental health issues were deftly conveyed, but the Joker was too much of an empty signifier mostly filled with facile ready-made cultural interpretations: “incel-friendly”, “your typical nutjob offmeds” etc. There was also the issue of what I saw then as a unnecesary, heavy-handed homage to Scorcese’s filmography.
I think I was wrong. Like in all great art there is plenty of scope of diverging interpretations, but looking at the movie again, Joker’s struggle as a mental patient desperately not only to feel better, but to get better comes rushing to the fore. Of course it was always there, loud and clear, but to me at least it was like all the other readings of the character and behaviour became purely topical and open to revision for each generation, certainly not all that important.
The guy is let down by the system at every corner, despite his committment to taking his meds, meeting his case worker regularly, and his efforts to build a possible rewarding life through his love of comedy and the stage. His life is completelt shattered by the discoveries he makes about his “parents”, childhood abuse, his complete and utter ontological insecurity. What are your thoughts on the movie? Have your views on it changed after a second viewing?