Suicide Squad: a psychoanalysis

Ever since Jared Leto showed the world his Joker looks, I often think about this movie: Suicide Squad. It has been a bit of a bumpy road until now, with some issues in both casting and directing as I have understood, but in August we will all go to the cinema and check this flick out. As it still takes a while, I have made a psychoanalysis about the actors and the characters they portray.

It might be handy to know a little bit more about Suicide Squad before we invite our clients on the couch. In this world that is currently full of super heroes, it might be hard to know one Avenger from the other Guardian of the Galaxy. The Suicide Squad is a group of ‘people’ from DC Comics. They have been known in this universe for quite a while, as the team formed itself for the first time in The Brave and the Bold (vol 1 #25) from 1959. There is an old school team and a more modern one, and the latter has been known since Legends #3, a comic from 1987.

So how is the Suicide Squad different from Marvels Avengers, you ask? That is mostly because these are antiheroes. It is actually worse, as Suicide Squad is a team of super villains that are going on secret missions for the government of the United States. Obviously they don’t do that as an act of kindness, as in return they are aiming to get a nicer or shorter prison sentence in the Belle Reve Penitentiary.

Sounds like a good story for a movie, right? That is why studio’s DC Entertainment and Atlas Entertainment decided to collaborate on making a movie out of this concept. The members of the Suicide Squad are, for example: Joker, Harley Quinn, Enchantress and Captain Boomerang, who are -as you might know- not the most emotionally stable people. Will the movie end up in a disastreous psychosis? As psychologist for half an hour I will look at some painful elements this flick has to deal with, and I will look at the chances his soul might have.

Will Smith – Deadshot

The most probable issue this movie will have to deal with, would be Will Smith. The actor from Men in Black is Deadshot, but the question is: will Mr. Smith be able to act in a team? Nearly all films with Will Smith have got posters with only his name on it. He is so charismatic and you cannot miss him; would the team not be overshadowed by their Deadshot, that is one of the major characters in Suicide Squad anyway?
Diagnosis: I do not even have to get my DSM-5 for this, the biggest issue is Will Smiths megalomania.
Possible medication: If Will Smith would be a bit less ‘out there’ in this flick, he could make himself a lot more popular again and he needs that after the disappointing After Earth, Winter’s Tale and Focus.

Jared Leto – The Joker

Jared Leto is a hated man, simply because he has it all; the looks, the awesome singing voice/band and an acting career that many waiters and waitresses in Hollywood can only dream of. His recent performance in Dallas Buyers Club as trans woman with HIV and a drug addiction made a big impression on the movieworld. So big, that he received an Academy Award for it. It is great to have Mr Leto on board for Suicide Squad, because that could give this flick a layer of Dark Knight. We could ask ourselves if Jared isn’t too emo for this part. The picture of himself as the Joker shows that he looks magnificent as the Joker (although I am not entirely sure about the grill). What was up with the ‘Damaged’ on his forehead though? Many fanboys are afraid that The Joker would not have enough self-mockery and too much self-knowledge.
Diagnosis: I hope that the diagnoses will turn out to be ‘psychopath’ in the end, but at this moment I fear a bipolar Joker.
Possible medication: If this Joker indeed shows many signs of being depressed, we hope these episodes of sadness will also leave room for many manic moments.

Margot Robbie – Harley Quinn

Margot Robbie is an amazing woman. She was sexy and strong in The Wolf of Wall Street as Naomi Lapaglia (the wife of) and it does not surprise me that she got the part of Harley Quinn thanks to that performance. Robbie has shown what she can do very well in the Scorsese flick. I do wonder if she will be more than just a sex bomb. Harley Quinn is mainly interesting because of her Joker-esque craziness, as she is obviously very much in love with the guy. At least, the original character as created by Paul Dini was. The movie could go for a totally different approach. Will she just be arm candy for Leto? Or will she be a sexy seductress?
Diagnosis: Margot Robbie could very well just be hired because of her seductive expertise, can she get rid of this stereotype?
Possible medication: If Robbi’s Harley Quinn gets a bit more depth than just a sex puppet, by letting her get a very sneaky plan to solve a problem, miss Robbie would be very much helped by that.

David Ayer – Director

David Ayer wrote and directed End of Watch, Sabotage and Fury. For Suicide Squad he also does both directing as writing, which means that this project is really David Ayers baby. From start to finish he is there and that means he should be obsessed with making Suicide Squad to a success. He puts years of his life into this project. It is not a guarantee that he will follow the comics perfectly or that the movie will be brilliant, but we have seen very amazing work from Ayers so that is pretty positive. But, his career was a bit unsteady sometimes. Sometimes he makes a succesful movie, like Training Day, but he has also known some years full of mediocre titles such as Harsh Times and Street Kings.
Diagnosis: Ayer is having some trouble. With End of Watch and Fury he pleased the crowd, but Sabotage was a letdown. Ayers career is a bit borderline: a rollercoaster with ups and downs.
Possible medication: He should just be directing a lot more, as projects where Ayer sits in that black and white textile chair have mostly been very great successes.

The story is there, the casting is done and filming has ended by now as well; Suicide Squad is a train that is not gonna stop. It is a train going full steam ahead, but there are a few off track people on board 😉 I am very curious to see if Ayer can control his team full of weirdos, because you never know when you have The Joker in your midst.

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