Joker has become a flashpoint for comic book movies and fans who find the gap widening between themselves and film critics. One high-profile fan thinks the movie is super important not for the filming techniques or faithfulness to the source material, but for the way Joker tackles mental health in our country. Brandon Lee is most well known for his time on The Hills, but he says that the movie inspired him to talk about his own struggles with mental health.
Lee talked about those moments in-depth on his personal Instagram page this week. The 23-year-old has been dealing with depression and anxiety his “entire life.” He’s trying to end the stigma around mental health in American popular culture and thinks Joker did an excellent job of showing how there are still some shortcomings in the system. The Hills star hopes that others can be encouraged to speak up after seeing the movie for themselves.
He wrote on Instagram, “The ‘Joker’ film hit the nail on the head. I hope people will realize how much we constantly torment people with mental illness in this country. We deprive them of counsel, medication, and aid to pay for those. We tease them in our schools, outcast them as adults, and we are SURPRISED when people lash out in an extreme fashion?? We blame gun laws after mass shooting when we should be looking at the individual?? It’s all backwards! Pushing political agendas over people’s well being. We need a better way to address mental health in this country, because it is only getting worse.”
Many have been vocal in their support for the film before the release and that has only intensified after the strong opening weekend performance. Today, Joker sits in IMDb's top ten movies ratings chart alongside fare like the first two Godfather films, Pulp Fiction, and genre standard-bearer, The Dark Knight. Understanding this development means going back to the run-up to the film, and recognizing the desire to shrug off a lot of the editorial hand-wringing before opening weekend.
Critics were mixed between mostly exasperated and disinterested in Joker, and the reviews reflected that experience. A grand swath of user reviews rose up in response to directly oppose those readings. Rotten Tomatoes ended up being turned into a battlefield where the critical response and audience scores are pitted against one another. Audiences have Joker at 90% approval while the critics have the movie gasping for air at 69%.
All of this noise doesn't look like it will calm down anytime soon as the film crushed the box office on opening weekend. Reports are now circulating that Joker could follow that up with another strong performance this weekend. The movie has also snagged some October records already. So, get ready for a month of discourse on top of the previous month and change of discussion.
Joker is now in theaters. Upcoming DC Movies include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2