New Batman Film Showcases Joker’s Twisted Philosophy

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New Batman Film Showcases Joker’s Twisted Philosophy

The Joker's new movie takes a twist on the inter workings of his complex mind.

The Joker's new movie takes a twist on the inter workings of his complex mind.

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The Joker's new movie takes a twist on the inter workings of his complex mind.

www.youtube.com

www.youtube.com

The Joker's new movie takes a twist on the inter workings of his complex mind.

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I have never been an avid comic book superhero reader, DC, Marvel, or otherwise. But with the sudden skyrocketing in popularity of the movie “Suicide Squad,” I found myself curious about the lore behind it. I started with the basics: Batman, the mysterious, brooding dark knight of Gotham City. While not exactly the happiest series to start with, it juggled different moral concepts as well as developed interesting and colorful characters.

A recurring villain who fascinates me is the Joker, an unforgettable character with his sick smile, pasty white face, green hair, and murderous sense of humor. In every series and movie, he has the same iconic traits. There’s his never-ending rivalry with Batman, his evil antics and an abiding love for chaos. I’ve always found his nihilism strange, but this trait gives him an edge that separated him from other classic villains. His goal was to prove that humanity is, down to its core, evil and insane just like him.

There was one film, however, that drew me in more than the others. “Batman: The Killing Joke” is a controversial movie. However, while its predecessors shaped the Joker as nearly the devil himself, this one turned him into something different: an everyday man who experienced one bad day that finally pushed him over the edge. He had an actual backstory and a tragic one too. The entire world and its problems is a punch line to him. The Joker knows that he was insane and accepts it, convinced that if just pushed, everyone else will be the same way.

Exactly what is nihilism, the philosophical chalice the Joker imbibes from? It’s the belief that life is meaningless and moral principles are nonexistent. Nihilism posits that humans are inherently evil. It certainly does seem like an unanswerable argument until you stop and realize that we as humans created the concept of good and evil. And determining which is which really depends on an individual’s perspective. Nature doesn’t recognize good or evil: it just is. However, humans as a species are social creatures and would not be able to function and develop independently. That brings this argument to a full circle back to the Joker.

The Joker claims he is insane. But what exactly is insanity? Something one person might do might make perfect sense but would seem baffling to others. “Batman: The Killing Joke” really makes you consider many things that we don’t usually question. It’s a film recommended for anyone looking for some dark humor along with an ending that implies that the Joker just might have the last laugh, after all.

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