Joaquin Phoenix stars in the Joker which has collected an estimated US$55m this week in North American movie theaters. (photo credit: New Straits Times)

In what may be the most important movie of our generation, “Joker” provides a look into how society should and should not treat those with mental impairments. Mental disabilities are not always talked about due to the stigma surrounding them, but “Joker” ignores this and takes a look at the treatment of that group.

Whereas many might see this as just another interpretation of one of the greatest comic book villains, “Joker”  is far more than that. Barely anything in the film makes you feel as though you are watching a superhero movie and instead gives you a unique film that stands out in the crowd. It would be unsurprising to see health classes may show it alongside movies such as “A Beautiful Mind” to help showcase and bring awareness to the group of people who can’t always speak up for themselves.

Every part of this movie has a purpose, and even the simple graffiti-white text included at the end of the trailer is representative of so much that happens inside it. The graffiti in particular shows how society sees black and white morals and how Joker is slowly fading into the darkness. The film also shows how Joker is seen by others, either as a hero or a villain, while he dresses in an array of colors to show that he sees the world differently from everyone else. The film also tributes other filmmakers, such as Charlie Chaplin and Martin Scorsese. “Joker” also references classism throughout the entirety of the film .

Many times, “Joker” gives us daydreams as to what the main character, Arthur Fleck, is thinking of. It presents them as real scenes as to not talk down to the audience and show how Fleck wants the world to be. This includes my favorite scene in the movie where he first sits down with his mother to watch his favorite idol, a stand-up comedian, and his mind takes over the show. There are many themes of hope, then abandonment or mistreatment of idols in the movie, whether it be parental figures, stand-up comedians and even authority figures such as God. The film also keeps Arthur’s mental illness of uncontrollable laughter as vague as possible to show that the movie would stay the same regardless of what mental illness Joker had.

Everyone should see “Joker” at least once. It might not be one to watch alone as it is very scary and violent at points, but the subject matter presented and the effort put into every scene is so important. This movie was made to spread awareness of mental health, and it does so perfectly.