Joker film normalizing mental health

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Cynthia Rossi, Staff Writer

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The release of the movie Joker has sparked quite a bit of controversy regarding its themes of violence and death. However, the main message of the movie is promoting otherwise difficult conversations about mental health and the stigma surrounding it. Joker addresses mental health by leading viewers to sympathize with main character Arthur Fleck and introducing the warning signs of mental illness. 

Mental illness is a topic that should not be left unaddressed; however, it needs to be approached the right way. Joker perfectly illustrates how mental illness can begin by being dismissable, but if not treated soon enough, can take over one’s logic and decision making. Arthur Fleck’s day-to-day life is greatly affected by his mental state, as his uncontrollable laughter causes strange looks and remarks from strangers. After a group of wealthy men heckle and tease Arthur Fleck, Fleck decides he’s had enough of the constant bullying he has to face every day. This is when he transforms into the Joker. 

Joker is making mental health a topic of casual conversation, which is necessary to move forward as a society with destigmatizing mental illnesses. More people than ever are opening up and talking about mental health as well as the importance of therapy.

Junior Dawson Jordan agrees that Joker is relieving the stigma surrounding mental illnesses, stating, “It truly shows how people with mental illnesses are viewed as separate from the rest of society. We are all human and should be treated as such. Joker truly showed me what it was like inside the mind of someone who struggles with mental illness and the way they are treated by the rest of society contributes to the problem itself.” 

Overall, Joker is truly making waves within the world of mental health and illness. It is not only providing an outlet for people to be more open about their own mental state but is also giving its audiences insight on life with mental illness and how to help a friend or family member who might be struggling with mental health issues.