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We're used to spending a lot of time talking about comic book movies, but the conversation surrounding Joker is quite different, and it's only sort of a comic book movie. The fact that Joker is something a little different is part of what is making that conversation happen. For what it's worth, Joker director Todd Philips understands that there are some people who might have a problem with his new film, and he has a solution. Don't see it...
I just hope people see it and take it as a movie. Do I hope everyone loves it? No. We didn’t make the movie for everyone. Anytime anyone tries to make a movie for everyone it’s usually for nobody… You have a choice. Don’t see it is the other choice. It’s OK.
It's certainly not an opinion that you tend to hear out loud from somebody who just made a major motion picture, but Todd Philips is happy to say that his movie is not for everyone, and it's totally fine if those people don't see it. He also expects some people who see it won't be fans.
While the statement is blunt, the sentiment isn't wrong. It's absolutely true that not every movie is for every person. Intelligent people can disagree about the quality of a film. Everybody brings different experiences and perspectives into a movie that color their perception of it. It's why criticism is a thing.
Of course, part of the difficulty comes because, until you see a movie, it can be difficult to tell if it's for you or not. Todd Philips tells the AP that he doesn't like the way the movie has suffered a preemptive backlash, largely by people who have not yet seen it. If those people are potentially being too harsh in their judgement of the film, the only way to know is to see it, but if it's not a movie for them, doing that might not be something they enjoy. People rarely go see a movie at all that they expect they won't love.
With Joker seeing some pretty significant pre-sales for tickets, and the fact that the film has essentially zero competition at the box office this weekend, one can easily guess that it is going to be the thing we're all talking about next week. That's good as far as it goes. Todd Philips says part of the reason that he made Joker was to start a conversation. A conversation about violence, guns, and mental illness.
The thing we're all waiting to see is exactly what part Joker itself will play in this conversation. What exactly does the movie have to say about these topics? That's what will likely be at the center of the debate. It's also where the people who don't love Joker may find their problems with it.
Are you one of those people who will be making the choice not to see Joker as Todd Philips suggests? Let us know in the poll below.