"You don't listen, do you? You just ask the same questions every week. How's your job? Are you having any negative thoughts? All I have are negative thoughts."
While I get this is a fictional character in a movie, these words rang around my head for days after I watched Joker. It made me sad. I took it home with me and pondered on it and couldn't shake the feeling.
This wasn't because I was sucked in to a movie. This was because these words echo real life.
This was a person struggling with his past trauma. He was abused and let down by the very people who were supposed to care for him, keep him safe and love him. He then sought help only to be let down all over again. He was beaten and bullied by people and by life. He wasn't seen... He was invisible right up to the point where he refused to be invisible anymore.
Now I am not saying everyone who is let down or abused is going to turn out to be a psychopathic killer. But I am saying these people fall under the radar all too often, and can end up worse off ...or even dead!!
Too many people are let down by a broken system that can be fixed. A system that could be amazing if the world just helped each other and LISTENED.
Arthur Fleck (Joker) was a sad, lonely, embittered man who just wanted to make people laugh. Who's absolute life goal was to simply make others happy. Something that he had never known for himself. He was a man that searched desperately for new connections anywhere he could. He was told by his own mother, "smile and put on a happy face,” and so he did. He paints one on every morning for work, and plays a clown to make children happy.
Yet he was publicly mocked by a talk show host. He was beaten and broken down so much it turned him into a killer, and that truly hurts my soul.
What if he was a real life man who tried to seek help for his negative thoughts? Who just wanted to be seen, heard, loved, cared about and was failed over and over... who's fail would that be??
We see time and time again people using social media platforms to publicly mock others. Whether that's famous people, someone we know or just someone in the street. Bullying and ripping people apart for their own entertainment, gain, or simply just jumping on the “bandwagon”. We see people flippantly sharing content that they find amusing. Even if its on a subject that they themselves have no clue about, they will share content anyway with the mentality of “it's on Facebook so it must be true!”...never thinking of the direct consequences or impact on it could have on someones life.
How many people have killed themselves because of something that's been said or posted on social media? Only for the world to then upload status’, pictures or stories about how sad and awful it is when all it would of taken is for it not to be shared, said, or posted in the first place.
This is a movie that has come from a simple comic book character. One who was once dipped in acid to be made but has now become so much more! Now he has shown what being dipped in to society can do.
Phoenix, absolutely smashed this role and brought it into the here and now! He shown us a raw picture of what mental illness can be. What it can progress to. The potential storm it can cause when glazed over.
Yes it's not pretty or glamorous but it's REAL. Its the darkness that people tried to hide and cover up, and that was the only scary part of this movie.
Tell me the last time you were truly heard? Not compared or diminished? Not told to get over it? Not told to just smile and wave, or put on medication till you just block it out and stop feeling.. When?
Think before you share, what will it actually achieve to share that post.
Ask someone how they are and mean it! Be willing to listen to their answer.
Remember, no one is perfect and we all mess up.