We need to talk… about Harley and the Joker.
<insert sigh here>
I saw Suicide Squad in theaters (opening weekend). To say I was disappointed is a severe understatement. When you watch the below trailer, you’ll know what I mean. I saw it a year before the damn thing came out — still gives me chills. Damn you, Comic-Con nerds and your fantastically crafted teaser trailers.
The movie itself was complete crap, but my girl Margot Robbie made it tolerable as the bat-shit crazy but oddly adorable Harley Quinn (though I could’ve done without the trailer-trash accent).
I’m no comic book nerd. I love a handful of superhero movies, but that’s about as far as my obsession goes. That said, I know little about this crazy couple’s backstory. I imagine it being like 50 Shades of Grey minus the sex – at least what we can see. I hear the Joker is psychologically and physically abusive toward Harley in the comics, and that many clips displaying the Joker’s dark side were deleted during the movie’s post-production. Probably for the best.
But after seeing the movie, particularly the scene where Harley throws herself into a vat of acid (or whatever it is – again, I’m no comic book nerd), I found it oddly… intriguing and romantic. If you’ve seen the movie, you know which scene I’m talking about. If not, here it is (sorry about the crap quality):
Let’s clear the air a bit: This isn’t about looks or abuse. It’s the dialogue, certainty, mutual selflessness, etc. Oh, and that growl the Joker makes. The more I think about it, the more I find this to be a trend with me. Other movie-based partnerships I’m oddly drawn to…
Hannibal and Clarice:
V and Evey:
Phantom and Christine:
The theme? Good old Stockholm syndrome – the psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them.
Fun fact: Stockholm syndrome is named after an incident that occurred in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1974, two armed men entered a bank. They held three women and one man hostage for several days. By the end, the victims took the side of their captors. They defended them to the media and to the police. One woman even became engaged to one of the bank robbers. Another paid for the legal defense of one of the criminals.
So the real question is: Why do I find this type of relationship intoxicating to watch? Why am I rooting for the “bad guy”? Am I crazy (besides the usual amount)? I can’t be the only one. Maybe it’s not so much the relationship I’m drawn to but the condition. Kinda makes me want to dust off my psych book from college.
Will I read the comics? To get my H&J fix, probably. Will I continue to boost the number of views on the acid vat clip? More times than I care to admit. Will I be Harley for Halloween (like 50% of the female population) this year? Hell yeah.
UPDATE 10.7.16: Did some research on H&J. The Joker’s a d*ck.