Joker – A Critique

Diary of a Scuba Instructor on Koh Tao

I usually make my way around Koh Tao bare foot. Flip flops and sandals are often more hassle than they’re worth – you have to take them off when you enter most establishments and they’re really no good on the beach.

Today, we decided to walk from my house to Coconut Monkey… and back. If I’d thought about the distance before hand, I would have put something on my feet instead of dragging them along the hot concrete for so long. Lesson learned, it doesn’t always pay off to be a hippie islander.


Coconut Monkey is a beautiful wee place to eat and they do (in my opinion) the best tofu scramble on the island. We munched our brunch and lay on their decking for an hour or so – my pal Alex had come in to grab her lunch so we chatted for a while as my mum listened to her audio-book.

Then it was time for the agonising return leg, during which I picked up a huge amount of food for 126thb so that I could cook a world famous veg medley for Mum tonight. Elle helped out immensely and it was a big success!


This evening, Elle, Chris & I met at the cinema for Austin Powers 2, but due to some technical difficulties, we ended up watching Joker. I don’t care how controversial this might be – I was not impressed. I got what they were trying to illustrate, but I feel they danced around powerful topics that needed to be addressed in greater depth, detail, and intimacy.

Joaquin Phoenix’s performance was disturbing and convincing, but the supporting storyline was weak. The theme of people with mental health conditions being misunderstood by general society is not new or groundbreaking, and the film failed to seize this opportunity to improve and develop this relationship with an under- and mis-represented group of people. There was minimal insight into the diverse factors which contribute to and exacerbate mental health conditions, it celebrated violence as the only significant byproduct of such, and left me with competing surges of disappointment and frustration regarding the flaccid portrayal of the peripheral socio-economic and political themes.

I’m half-considering writing a plot for it myself, it was that much of a let-down. 2 stars from Jen.


song of the day: The Beatles – Rocky Raccoon
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