A few days ago, I watched “JOKER”, which won the Golden Lion award at Venice Film Festival this year. Because of the limited time, when I wrote this essay, I decided to explore neither the role of the clown under the DC comic world view nor his predecessor, "Taxi Driver", in the movie history this time. Just talk about this film.
Arthur, who played clown in his life often laughed in an inappropriate situation because his brain had been damaged in childhood. This congenital disease caused him to be misunderstood in society and became a vulnerable group that was difficult to make a living, so playing the clown on the road to be a cardboard cut-out or being hired to perform in a children's ward had become his ways of making a living. At the same time, he had also practiced what his mother had always told him (his nickname his mother called him was Happy) to bring laughter to people, and he also found the meaning of self-existence in the way of playing clown or tell jokes to make people laugh.
Being at the bottom of the weak society, "looking for the value of self-existence" was the source of Arthur's own desire and anxiety. However, in the structure of the script, through being bullied by naughty children, misunderstood by the boss, and given a gun and persuaded to protect himself by the friend, but then it was taken advantage of to frame him for owning a gun by this friend, so he lost his job, and his disease of bursting out laughing attacked so that three young white-collar workers misunderstood that he was taunting them and then assaulted him, it was like the last fuse detonating the long-term fury of being unaccepted and listened by the society (the consultant arranged by the social welfare unit also never listened to him seriously which meant the society never cared about people like him); therefore, he shot and killed the three young white-collar workers.
如果主線到這裡，他終將還是一個 「個體」 。但是劇情結構所需 (畢竟他仍是DC故事結構裡的一員)，他不只是一個大笑病病人，因為他誤殺的白領青任職於Thomas Wayne的公司，而Wayne剛好是富人及競選下任市長的候選人，於是使他捲入了社會貧富階級的矛盾對立與仇富示威運動中，成了平民或貧民的英雄象徵，於是，他在殺人犯案之後內心恐懼以及失業(等於失去了自我存在的價值)的孤立之下，卻又弔詭地因此莫名地感受到了自己終於 「被看見」 的興奮(人們紛紛戴著小丑面具表達對貧富差距的諸多抗議)。
If the main line ended here, he would eventually be an "individual." But the structure of the plot was needed (after all, he was still a member of the DC story structure), he was not just a patient who had the laughing disease, because the white-collar workers he killed worked in Thomas Wayne's company, and Wayne happened to be a rich man and the candidate of the next mayor, it made Arthur involved in the contradictory opposition and demonstrations of protesting against the rich, becoming the hero symbol of the civilians or the poor. Thus, under the isolation of his inner fear and unemployment (which was equal to lose the value of self-existence) after his murder, he had paradoxically and inexplicably therefore felt the excitement that he was finally "seen" (people wore clown masks one by one to protest against the gap between the rich and the poor).
同時，故事的第二條線是，因為他在地方小劇場做單人脫口秀表演時，突然發病大笑，被知名電視秀主持人Murray嘲笑為低劣，他反而因此被請上直播節目，他終於從電視機前的無名小卒，得以被全國觀眾 「看見」 ，然而他想被眾人看見的夢想之所以實現，竟是來自他被社會大眾視為可笑低劣。
At the same time, the second line of the story was that, when he was doing a stand-up comedian at the local small theatre, he was suddenly attacked by illness so burst into laughter, and then he was mocked as a poor by Murray, a famous comedian of TV show. Nevertheless, he was therefore invited to the live show. He finally recovered from a nobody in front of the TV to somebody to be "seen" by audiences nationally. The dream about being seen by everyone came true unexpectedly due to himself being considered ridiculous and inferior by the public.
The third line of the story was that he learned from his mother that he was the illegitimate son of Wayne. When he sought his father's love, he accidentally learned that he was actually adopted by the mother of paranoia and learned from his mother’s medical records of sanatorium that his brain was badly wounded due to being abused in childhood, that was to say, he was aware of the truth of being taken advantage of and harmed by his adoptive mother at the same moment when he wanted to satisfy his desire of being seen and loved.
這三條故事線最後交會的節點，是Arthur在殺死母親及友人後，來到Murray的直播電視秀，即將 「被眾人看見」 ，然而此刻的他，希望他被介紹出場的名字不是他的本名，而是 Joker「小丑」 ，這正是電影導演要藉此兜攏三條故事線，呈現整個社會病態的結語：媒體主持人Murray (主持人扮演了引導及塑造觀眾觀點的角色，代表了一般普羅大眾) 視Joker為冷血殘暴的殺人兇手以及可笑低劣的表演者；富人Wayne(社會政商上層階級) 認為Joker (們)只是一群盲目叫囂、對社會沒有貢獻的 「小丑」 ；母親(本以為是這世上唯一愛他的人)其實是利用並傷害他的人。這一切社會的病態或人性的殘酷，逼使他走向最後無法收拾的憤怒，血腥地朝著主持人(代表社會)開槍，實踐了他所寫的話：希望我的死亡，比我的存活更有價值。在此同時，整個高譚市也陷入了群眾示威的失控狀態，之後他被救出，成了群眾的英雄。
The last crossing point of these three story lines was that after Arthur killed his mother and friend, he went to the Murray's live TV show and was about to “being seen by all people”. However, at that moment, he hoped that he could be introduced with the name of “Joker(Clown)” instead of his real name. This was exactly what the movie director concluded three story lines and presented the whole social morbidity: The media host, Murray, (the host played the role of guiding and shaping the audience's point of view, representing the general public), treated Joker as a cold-blooded murderer and a ridiculous performer; the rich man, Wayne (social and political upper class) treated Joker(s) as a group of "clowns" who only blindly screamed and made no contribution to society; mother (was originally believed that was the only person in the world who loves him) was actually the one who took advantage of and hurt him. All the society morbidity or the cruelty of humanity forced him to go to the last step, with the out-of-control anger, to shoot the host (the society), and practice what he wrote: I hope my death makes more sense than my life. At the same time, the entire Gotham City also sank into an uncontrollable mass demonstration, then he was rescued and became a hero of the masses.
In fact, from the beginning to the end, Joker was not just an individual. He symbolized the modern people who had never been heard and understood by anyone, losing self-control because of trauma, just could get self-consolation through his own weaving (imagined himself was deeply loved by the neighboring woman), but only because he was also a socioeconomically disadvantaged person, he was defined as a psychiatric patient. People with political and business resources had the right to define people, it was the morbid state of the whole society, and also the ultimate complaint of the film writers to the society.
As the main actor of the whole movie, the acting skill of actor Joaquin Phoenix is really amazing. When Arthur fell laughing illness, his eyes and even his body radiated the opposite emotions of sorrow, loneliness, fear, and helplessness. These complex emotions were conveyed layer by layer in his wave of unstoppable laughter. There are also a few scenes of his solo dance, or performances in his imaginary world, showing his inner desire and loneliness.
The director's lens languages, including scenes and art design, etc., also clearly highlight the development of the story. For example, the director led the audience to watch Arthur through lens of elevation angle, to express Arthur's desiring and imagining that he became stronger to hide his fear of murdering. He ran and murdered on the subway platform where the garbage piled up and the rats smashed, and fell into the garbage alleys, telling that he was disgusted like garbage. In the small telephone booth, he was fired by the boss, and even hid himself in the refrigerator, showing that he was not understood by the world, and his heart was like an isolated island. Another example is the movie poster framing scene, he wore a red suit before going to the TV show, and danced downwards on the long ladder, but when the police appeared at the top of the long ladder (symbolizing the social upper authority), what he only could do was to rush downwards along the long ladder to escape, then to hid to the underground (the subway), like a rat who escaped from the light.
Joker had never been understood from the beginning to the end, when he was discriminated and bullied, even when he was treated as a hero. In the street demonstrations, he stood up and looked at the disorder and broken surroundings, after experiencing all this ridiculous situation, he painted the mouth with his blood in his mouth to reveal Joker's representative smile. On this moment, it was his turn to laugh at all the situation, the film author's intentions are clearly presented in this scene. However, as a viewer, when we are back to life after going out of the theater, what viewpoint do we choose? to squeeze into the upper class to get the rights of defining others, or to take advantage of others or harm others to protect oneself for the survival competition, or also to wear a smiling mask of Joker as a laughing person?
我從事潛意識諮詢工作十來年，發現 「想被看見，想要被愛」 ，大概是每一個生命都有的原始欲望，除非是後天受到重創，因為恐懼，所以想要躲藏，不要被看見，但是其原因也還是因為害怕感受到不被愛，所以才躲藏。但如果當我們還沒學會無條件的愛之前，愛，可能也成了一種有限的資源，誰能夠得到這份資源，得到被愛或被關注，便又成了一種競爭。社會經濟地位的弱勢者，甚或是家庭中的弱勢者，往往也是愛的競技場中的輸家，這樣的愛的匱乏，造就了後續無數的身心問題，作為一位潛意識諮詢師，必須說，在我的經驗看來，所有的問題或創傷，其實都是跟 「愛」 的能量或主題有關。於是，怎麼學會自給自足的愛，以及給予他人無條件的愛，確實是我們做為人，一生的課題。
I have been engaged in subconscious consultation for over ten years and find that "I hope to be seen and to be loved" is probably the original desire of every human, except the person got traumas, then he would hide himself, but the reason is also the fear not to be seen or not to be loved. However, if we have not yet learned unconditional love, love may become a limited resource, then who can get the resource or who can get love or attention become some kind of competition. The weak people in social economic status, or even the disadvantaged in the family, are often the losers in the arena of love. Such lack of love would create numerous subsequent mental and physical problems. As a subconscious consultant, it must be said that in my experience, all problems or traumas are actually related to the energy or theme of "love." Therefore, how to learn self-sufficient love and how to give unconditional love to others are definitely a life subject to be a human.