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The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

“The People’s Joker” review: Putting clown makeup on a story of identity and calling it a parody

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Using Batman villains as metaphors for queer identity, “The People’s Joker” is an unsuspecting, coming-of-age film utilizing the parody genre to mask its true intent. Director and writer Vera Drew gives a bizarre look into gender identity and the struggles for truthful expression that leave you confused yet clamoring for more. The parodies translate easily, crafting a world that’s so easy to understand as a play on reality and a warped comic book narrative. Arkham Asylum is a conversion therapy practice, Smylex is some sort of pharmaceutical drug and Batman is one of the real villains in Drew’s narrative. “The People’s Joker” pushes creative expression to the edge of parody and satire, looking into the void of contemplative comedy and taking a hit of Smylex when the void stares back. 

*This film screened at the 59th Chicago International Film Festival

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