Since its release just last week, Joaquin Phoenix’s latest film Joker has erupted into a culmination of negative and positive reactions. While he is praised for his twisted interpretation of the infamous villain, ongoing reports have revealed the triggering nature of the film as it delves into the topic of mental health. For ‘The Hills: New Beginnings’ star Brandon Lee – the son of Pamela Anderson – it sparked the young actor to open up about his struggles with anxiety and depression.
The 23-year-old took to his Instagram earlier this yesterday, reflecting on the film as it “hit the nail on the head” on the effect of mental illness and its correlation to crime.
“We deprive them of counsel, medication, and aid to pay for those,” he published. “We tease them in our schools, outcast them as adults, and we are SURPRISED when people lash out in extreme fashion?? We blame gun laws after mass shootings when we should be looking at the individual?? It’s all backwards.”
He went on to speak on his own experiences.
“I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety my entire life and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to afford treatment for that,” he added. “It’s not fun, and untreated…. It doesn’t get better.”
Last month, The Telegraph asked Joaquin Phoenix if the film “might perversely end up inspiring exactly the kind of people it’s about, with potentially tragic results.” He consequently walked out of the interview. Since then, he has responded to concerns on the violence factor within the film, saying, “I think that we are capable as an audience to see both of those things simultaneously and experience them and value them.”
Director Todd Phillips added, “We’re making a movie about a fictional character in a fictional world, ultimately, and your hope is that people take it for what it is. You can’t blame movies for a world that is so f**ked up that anything can trigger it.”
Joker is in cinemas now.