Why This Suicide Squad Trailer Could Stir Sexist Controversy
The SDCC “Suicide Squad” trailer revealed some graphic scenes between Harley Quinn and The Joker!
With the help of David Ayer, we were able to see the full version of that Suicide Squad trailer that was leaked from San Diego Comic Con. Now with a much more vivid look at the trailer, we’re able to see a few things we didn’t see before. Since this team is villain based, it’s no surprise that the film would carry a darker tone, but this may raise controversy. The few brief moments between the Joker and Harley Quinn seem to paint a picture that may not be appropriate for those with more “wholesome souls.” Take a look at the trailer below and then we’ll discuss.
For those unfamiliar with Harley Quinn, her origins begin as a mental health professional. She became aware of the Joker while working at Arkham Asylum and was corrupted by him becoming his partner in crime. While the original story had Harley influenced willfully, other origin variations took a darker route making the Joker’s influence more forceful. This seems to be the route that “Suicide Squad” is going based off of the few clips revealed in the trailer.
This may stir up some controversy for some given that not too long ago a controversial comic book cover was pulled. The cover pictured to the right was labeled as being offensive to women and promoting “rape culture” due to the fear in Batgirl’s eyes and Joker smiling with a gun. Given the controversy that this caused, I’m wondering how audiences will respond to the potential torture of Harley Quinn by the Joker. Could this be another controversial moment in cinema or will people accept this as the corrupted origin of Harley Quinn? Let’s take a look at a few scenes that paint this picture.
Harley Quinn strapped to the table with Joker hovering above…
Some may have not noticed this but this is obviously the Joker with Harley Quinn on the table. If you look at the tattoos and purple gloves, it’s undeniable that it is him. Outside of the norm of “damsel in distress” that we find in Hollywood, many could perceive Harley’s fear and Joker’s actions the same way as that controversial Batgirl comic. While the scene may explicitly state its intentions in the film, how audiences perceive it will be another story.
The end scenes confirm Joker is torturing Harley Quinn…
The identity of who the Joker was torturing was questioned numerous times by others. While many made their assumptions, the answer was in this trailer all along. The same lighting, the same gloves, and the same tattoos all connect Harley Quinn as the victim. But what we see is not a corrupted Harley Quinn in makeup, but a frightened doctor instead. I believe that it is during this scene that Margot Robbie officially becomes Harley Quinn and it’s not through G-rated means. The Joker’s form of “electroshock therapy” could be what corrupts her and makes her a villain. Combine her new-found psychological confusion with a little Stockholm Syndrome and you’ve got a dark but dynamic origin for Harley Quinn.
Could Harley Quinn be a product of Joker’s torture?
I’d say that it is very likely that Harley Quinn is the outcome of the Joker’s torturous methods. Whether he tortures her through electroshock is still unknown. It is eluded to, but it is still uncertain since we don’t see Joker do the act. What could be a viable and logical reason for Harley’s affection towards the Joker is Stockholm Syndrome. In certain traumatic events, captives begin to sympathize with their captors. They begin to feel positive feelings towards them and even start to identify with them. As intense as the Joker is, I’m sure that there is some answer within these scenes and psychological theories to explain how Joker and Harley became Bonnie and Clyde.
Will these scenes stir controversy?
If the speculation behind these scenes lead to the truth, then I’m sure we can expect to see some controversy arise from “Suicide Squad.” If something as simple as a misinterpreted comic book cover can start a movement then I’m sure the potentially dark scenes from the film could do the same. While I understand some may be potentially offended, I hope that their voices do not dictate the content of the film. Film’s are meant to invoke emotion and that runs along the entire emotional spectrum. If Harley Quinn is a product of the Joker’s madness then what better way to give a female character the spotlight. Many characters start as victims and grow to be incredibly strong due to their ability to endure those hardships. Hopefully David Ayer presented this scene tastefully in the film and hopefully the masses don’t take things out of context.