The Joker Analysis
The Suit • Similar to the zoot suits of the gangster era: puts him in context. • However the colours are not typical: orange, green and purple. He is a non conformist, a rebel. • The colours are outlandish and almost sickening: you are compelled to look, but then to look away. • Clown colours but a little off.
Patterns • Argyle socks with different colours. • The shirt is covered in hexagons; each hexagon has a different pattern in a different direction. • The effect is to give the impression of barely contained anarchy. • Notice: the Joker’s posture in the pic to the left. Traditional jester.
The Makeup • Clown makeup. However not the type of clown any child would want to see. Deliberately disturbing. • Makeup is increasingly haphazard throughout the film; represents the Joker’s own mental health. • He looks as if he’s suffering: does this give us an insight into his own pain? • His hair is traditional Joker-green, but it’s greasy and unwashed. Can the Joker take care of himself?
Without the makeup • Heath Ledger is not frightening to look at without the makeup; even with the scars. • Why do we see him without the makeup? • To demonstrate he is/was/could have been an ordinary citizen. • Any one of us has the capacity to change. • He represents the darkness/madness/chaos within.
The Joker’s card • The Joker’s card is the Joker playing card. • Often the images are indicative of what is to come: the image in this one is the Joker holding a severed head. He is a murderer. • He asks the mobsters to call him when they’re ready to talk but the card has no number. Why? • He is in control, he calls the shots, he holds the cards.
Indeed it does • Level One: money burns • Level Two: people die • Level Three: Gotham falls. • Society and Civilisation can tumble down.
Do you wanna know? • At least three times, we hear the Joker ask, “wanna know how I got these scars?” • He offers different explanations, are any of them true? Did something terrible happen to him? Is his madness the result of nurture? • Alternatively, perhaps he did it to himself. He could be mad by nature. • Note: many of his followers have mental health problems. Where did he meet them? Was he institutionalised?