It's only been a matter of days since the Joker movie hit screens, and already it's stirring up controversy.
The psychological thriller details the origin story of Batman's archnemesis, The Joker, and how he became the notorious villain he is.
While some agree that its portrayal of mental health could have been executed better, others have commended it for every other aspect. And one particular part of it seems to have stood out for fans all around the world and it may or may not involve the legend that is Heath Ledger.
The Joker is one of the most infamous villains in the comic book world.The supervillain made his debut in the Batman comic books in 1940 and has since become one of the most notorious faces of the franchise.
He was originally meant to be killed off during his initial appearance.But plans changed and he stuck around to become Batman's archenemy.
He was most famously brought to life by Heath Ledger in 2008.
via: imdbThe Dark Night was a box office smash hit, receiving rave reviews and grossing over a staggering $1 billion in revenue.
The movies the Joker appears in seem to garner worldwide success.Seems fans of the franchise can't get enough of the psychopathic anti-hero.
So, when it was annouced he was getting a movie of his own...
via: imdb...fans were elated. In fact, there was so much buzz around its release that the movie bagged the Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival in September.
This time, the infamous criminal mastermind is portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix.
via: imdbSpeaking to Ladbible, the Oscar-nominated actor explained: "I thought it was important for it to be its own thing, to be its own interpretation. What's interesting about this character is that everybody can interpret it however they want.
The movie hit screens earlier this month.
via: imdbDirected by Todd Phillips, Joker tells the origin story of, you guessed it...the Joker (or Arthur Fleck as he's known as in the movie), and how he evolves into the criminal mastermind we all know him as.
Arthur Fleck is a lonely, failed comedian.
via: imdbSet in 1981, Fleck, who is working as a party clown, lives with his mother in Gotham City - a town full of crime and unemployment.
Fleck also has a neurological disorder that causes him to laugh at inappropriate times.
via: imdbDue to this, he often lands himself in bad situations. And of course, he finds himself on a huge downward spiral.
He becomes an outcast of society.
via: imdbFleck is isolated, bullied, and lonely.
The movie chronicles his descent into madness.
via: imdbSoon enough, Fleck's life becomes rife with out-of-control into delusions, violence, and anarchy and thus, the clown-faced criminal is born.
The movie has solicited some extreme reactions.
via: imdbFrom rave reviews to full-blown outrage, the dark movie has debuted to extremely mixed emotions.
The movie has already broken a major record...
via: imdbOver the weekend alone it raked in an eye-watering $93.5 million at the US box office - although we aren't entirely surprised, given the huge anticipation in the lead up to its release.
But given its blatantly dark and, at times, sensitive themes, it was bound to whip up some kind of controversy.
via: imdbAnd it sure didn't disappoint, with many people slamming the movie for its representation of mental health and "glamorization" of violence.
Theatre-goers have also been left outraged by a particular song used in the movie...
via: imdbConvicted pedophile, Gary Glitter's 1972 "Rock and Roll Part 2" is used in one scene. Glitter was jailed in 2015 for a number of sexual assault offenses, including one count of raping a 13-year-old girl, so it's no wonder so many viewers were disgusted.
The movie is apparently so disturbing, it has been leaving viewers unable to continue watching.
via: imdbSeveral people took to Twitter to call out the "horrible" movie, saying how they've been left terrified while watching.
It seems to have rattled many people...
I've just walked out of the Joker. Maybe I was naive in going/didn't realise what an origin story would be like, m… https://t.co/Y66tJkZAR1— Sam (@Sam)1570182590.0
Several have been saying the movie should have come with a trigger warning.Like this user, who cited the graphic shooting as one of the main reasons why they feel a trigger warning should have been placed at the start of the movie.
Other's cut the movie more slack.
Went to see The Joker last night with my son - its on another level of dark, disturbing and graphic, but we all kn… https://t.co/612kyeagg4— Lady Karren Brady (@Lady Karren Brady)1570434336.0
I demand that someone give that man an Oscar!The word on the street is that Pheonix is a shoo-in for an Oscar, people saying his portrayal of the Joker really brought back that rawness to the character. And so began the comparison memes to Jared Leto who is on the receiving end of some well-deserved criticism for his previous role as the Joker.
But that's not the only thing fans are talking about.
via: Getty ImagesA debate has broken out online with some fans claiming that there is a powerful reference to Heath Ledger in the movie.
"Where?" I hear you ask.
for those who didn’t catch the reference 🤡 #Joker https://t.co/W4YeCCw3wX— ᴋᴇᴠɪɴ ᴊ (@ᴋᴇᴠɪɴ ᴊ)1570337626.0
Some fans, who believe that Ledger was the most iconic Joker to ever exist, loved this "tribute."
@__greys woah what. damn didnt see that coming at all!— Patrick Nestor III (@Patrick Nestor III)1570422358.0
However, others have other theories.
@__greys Wrong. The shot was a comparison of his sadness of no one noticing him in the beginning to his happiness o… https://t.co/PsKPrIB2Qw— WE'LL BANG, OK? (@WE'LL BANG, OK?)1570390804.0
Whatever the actual answer is...
@blkbuddha @__greys It was actually a reference to both but we on Twitter so I guess we supposed to argue— Lefty 🇫🇷 (@Lefty 🇫🇷)1570466414.0