The Politics of Circularity in Todd Phillips’s Joker (2019)

Todd Phillips’ Joker film, released worldwide in October 2019, was first released in a simple and linear fashion: creating an alternate on-screen date for the rise of one of the most famous “supervillains” in history. from the comic. The film is expected to take us from a seemingly offensive character named Arthur Flick at the beginning of a series of milestones in the Batman universe, such as the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents and the arrest of the Joker in a sanitarium. But despite such linear irreversibility, the film also relies heavily on circular patterns, an idea that must be taken with extended meaning that goes beyond the single visual dimension to encompass a host of narrative tools, specifically, the twisted movements within the story (including iterations, twists, analysis, and graphics), overlapping references (including reversals in representations), and vicious circles, all of which are essential in defining the representation of society and violence in a film. All of this includes endless two-way exchanges of information that are helpful in shaping the viewer’s interpretation of the story.

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1 Please note that the character played in the film by Joaquin Phoenix will be referenced in (…)
2 Based on these introductions, but also on previous imagery analysis of the Joker, this article aims to show that circularity in the 2019 film is a prominent tool used to shape and distort the viewer’s perception of the narrative arc. Its main function is to generate a series of incompatible interpretations (not only of the story itself, but of its possible political titles) that coexist within the same story. I also affirm that the rotation has a double “political” purpose: a goal, which can be called “total politics”, which is directed at society as a whole; The other, who could be considered a “petty politician”, relates to corporate politics within Warner Bros. and the DC universe. This last aspect limits the metamito, in this case creating a new arc and strengthening it firmly within the DC universe despite the reluctance of the companies. In this sense, the Joker questions Phillips about the idea of ​​canonicalism in the Batman myth.

From the character’s origins to the Batman Mythus rewrite
3 Joker has long been described as a “Joker origin movie” (Kit, 2018; Acuña, 2018). While the question of the origins of the character is fundamental for the Joker, an important part of the plot is based precisely on the impossibility of creating at least parts of him. Although it focused on the main character, this uncertainty also affected the original Joker model. At the same time, because the circular patterns are central to aspects of Arthur Fleck’s evolution, it contributes to viewers’ impression that they have reached full circle in their perception of the film’s relationship to Batman’s pre-existing universe. .

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