The movie “Joker,” directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, has sparked controversy on its first weekend since its premiere around the world, with fans leaving theatres and commenting that it was too disturbing and provocative.
The film about the supervillain broke the box office records, but not all were good news, with several negative comments from the audience. Many have said that the film about the character of Arthur Fleck, who later becomes Batman’s most iconic enemy, is dark and ultraviolent.
“I literally abandoned the ‘Joker’ screening. Too terrifying the way the film claims armed violence and mental health problems, ” one of the fans wrote on Twitter, in a comment about a complaint that in a Brooklyn cinema there were security personnel checking backpacks of spectators In search of weapons.
Literally just walked out of a screening of Joker. Way too terrifying to be there with all this going on the way the movie glamorizes gun violence and mental health issues.
Others have gone even further, asking that the film be banned in theatres with the argument that it incites violence and could even inspire a mass shooting.
So far this inaugural weekend there have been no reports of violent episodes or credible threats, but Los Angeles police said they plan to increase their presence on the streets near movie theatres because of fears about their controversial content.
In New York City, police went to one of the projections after several people reported that a viewer aroused fears spitting on others and clapping loudly every time “Joker” killed someone in the movie. Fearing that it would happen to elders, the police escorted the man out of the cinema.
A Twitter user who was in the place wrote: “Mie *** that was scary, like a 4D movie.”
This is the guy who spent our entire screening of JOKER in NYC spitting at people and clapping whenever Joker killed somebody. Security escorted him out after a third of the audience fled the theater out of fear that he’d start hurting people. pic.twitter.com/vRmotvZxVV
— Nathanael Hood (@NateHood257) October 4, 2019
“I just left watching #Joker. I have not been so anxious in a cinema since ‘GOOD TIME. Living to the limit ‘. Fuck, man … ” wrote another user.
“I never left the cinema during a movie, but with” Joker “I was about to do it … I would have left after the first hour if my wife had allowed me to! #NoLoHaganAmigos, ”another tweeted.
And also: “I left the cinema during #Joker. PROHIBIT THIS FILM! It is a psychological approach to the mind! It seemed fine to me until it became too real … Oh my god… ”
“By unanimous decision, the four of us left the cinema during the movie ‘Joker’. I have not left a room in years … I have never left a more awkward cinema than I am now leaving ‘Joker’ … ”, said another user.
Both Phoenix and director Todd Phillips have defended the film. The actor said he is confident that the public will know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Phillips recently revealed that he was surprised by the criticisms of ‘Joker’ because he took steps to instil “real-world implications” about the violence that are not common in animated films and television shows.
During the New York Film Festival, the 48-year-old director said that his representation of violence was a necessary alternative to the glorification that is usually found in other action films.
Phoenix, meanwhile, plays a harassed man -Arthur Fleck- that after living on the margins of society breaks down and begins to take revenge on those who have harmed him. “That’s the amazing thing for me,” he said at the movie’s premiere. “I thought: is it not good to talk about the causes in the real world that produce violence?”
He added: “For me it is very responsible to make him feel real and have weight and consequences.”