Spoilers Below: If you have not seen the film, this article contains spoilers.
To start out, I just want to clarify that I am not going to do a formal review of Suicide Squad. There is no need for it, there are at least sixty every time I scroll down my Facebook feed. If you want a review, just randomly click on another geek/nerd website and I guarantee you it will be right on the front page. I’ll wait…
Got that taken care of? Do you have that out of your system now? Fantastic.
I do however want to discuss the dynamic on screen between The Joker and Harley Quinn. Which is far more interesting than what every squealing fan girl online wants it to be. I hate to break this to you and your moist panties but The Joker does NOT love Harley. He owns her. Harley is The Joker’s property. No more, no less.
Now before you start waving your hands in the air and weeping uncontrollably over the mean man breaking up your soppy poorly written fan fiction featuring the Jared Leto “Joker” and a hopefully more attractive Harley Quinn. I want to remember one phrase: “surrender is power”.
Let us go chronologically through the series of events. The Joker clearly manipulated Harley’s feelings to aid in his escape from Arkham. He is a deranged psychopath, she is a doctor who has been manipulated by one of the most cunning villains in DC history. Obviously she is a bit damaged to begin with to allow him into her head but it is pretty clear she is wrapped around his finger with the presentation of a tiny stuffed kitty.
Next up is our little trip to the chemical plant. This is an example of Grade A manipulation:
“Would you live for me?”
Of course she says yes and falls into the vat of chemicals. As the Joker walks away he changes his mind and dives in after her. But it isn’t a look of love he gets on his face. It is a look of frustration. He realizes he is making a plaything and he needs to go through with it. She belongs to him and he doesn’t want to leave his new toy in the chemicals. Who would? I don’t even like for my laptop to gather a touch of dust. Let alone leave it in some chemicals.
That leads us to the club. With our homeboy Common, the Joker catches him looking at Harley, coveting his toy. Oh, he doesn’t like that. So he decides to make an example of him. He pulls Harley into the room to show her off, right before putting a bullet in homeboy’s skull. No one covets the Joker’s toys. This leads us to the car chase with Batman, Joker driving into the water and leaving Harley to die. Whoa… last time I checked you don’t leave loved ones to die. But he did.
Now, I know you are saying “Chris.. he spends the movie trying to get her back! You are wrong!”.
And to that I say “Shhhhhhhhuuuuuutttttttt up. I am not done”.
We now come to a scene where the Joker finds out that she is alive and where she is. He falls back into the floor surrounded by knives, various weapons, baby clothing, and electronics all while laughing. Yes he is happy he found her, but not because he loves her, but because he has located his missing toy. He is surrounded by his toys and missing his favorite! A lunatic would go to great lengths to get his favorite toy back.
I know you are wondering about the end of the film. Where he breaks into a black site to “rescue” her. But did you really look at his face when he hugs her. That is not a face of love and relief. That is a face of ownership, a face of control. To state it simply, it was a face of “THIS IS MINE”. He wanted his property back and he got it. This is not a loving relationship, even by insane standards. This is a relationship based on control. Like all good relationships…
Wait? You mean Joker and Harley have an unhealthy relationship that people shouldn’t romanticize? Young girls should want to be treated with respect and men shouldn’t insist their girlfriends jump into large vats of chemicals? Hell.. Who would have guessed?