Suicide Squad Makes a Mockery of Crazy People
I was sitting in Starbucks the other day (with, as loyal readers may recall, my special Starbucks hat), when one of the employees starting having a minor “freak out”. Apparently he had become overwhelmed with one too many orders and one too many broken machines and he snapped; he starting running around in small circles chanting in strange tongues, all while hitting himself in the head with a whipped-cream canister. It was one of the most horrifying sights I had ever seen, and it took all my strength to remain at my seat with my latte when every muscle in my body was screaming run, run, get out of here if you want to live. Fortunately upper management quickly arrived and shuttled him off into a black van parked outside; the next day, a plucky new barista was in his place.
The point of this is, crazy people are absolutely terrifying. And there is nothing funny about them. Which is why Suicide Squad is ultimately a little bit problematic, in its light and funny treatment of ill-headed people.
Principal characters Harley Quinn and the Joker are depicted as charismatic do-no-gooders who are likable in as much as they are horrible. Their psychoses resemble no actual mental conditions, only a cheap Hollywood pantomime of “crazy”. Is this really how we are going to depict mental illness in 2016? With plucky, hyper-stylized cartoons? How about showing some reality for a change? How about showing someone like the deranged barista that terrified me a few days ago? Perhaps such a film would be too “edgy” for mainstream audiences? Would it be too “edgy” for you?
The point of art is to bring issues to light that people would rather not talk about or see and do not want to think about ever. It is the noble responsibility of the artist to cast of the shackles off of Hollywood white-washing and show the world as it truly is, bones and all. That is why I urge you to boycott Suicide Squad and send a message that we want truth, truth above all. And I’m sorry, but truth is sometimes excrutiatingly painful. Sorry.