There are great films, average films, and those that are just downright awful. When a film is labelled as terrible, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the storyline is bad. Sometimes, it’s just because some films portray a commentary on a sensitive topic or a recent tragedy.

There are also films that were panned for being too graphic while others were snubbed for unrelated controversies involving the people who made or starred in the film. Whichever the case may be, some films just had to cause a stir among critics and the viewing public for the wrong reasons. Nipashe gives you a few examples:

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Zero Dark Thirty is the dramatisation of the international manhunt for Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda and the mastermind of the 9/11 tragedy. The film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and stars Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, and Joel Edgerton, among others.

The film was met with success in the box office, but some viewers and critics pointed out the torture scenes done by the characters representing the US military and the CIA to obtain information on the whereabouts of bin Laden. Critics say the film might have promoted the use of inhumane acts such as torture to extract information.

Joker (2019)

This psychological thriller film explores a possible origin story of one of DC Comics’ most popular and bizarre villains. Joker’s storyline shows the slow descent to madness of Arthur Fleck, a former clown and aspiring stand-up comedian. Todd Phillips directs the film and stars Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro.

While some viewers took the events in Joker as a wake-up call to address mental health issues, others think it might encourage viewers to commit violent acts as an outlet of their underlying emotional turmoil. Joker was also criticised for creating sympathy for a villain, labelling it ‘irresponsible’. Nonetheless, Joker became a box office success and even won the Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.

The House that Jack Built (2018)

The House that Jack Built is a horror film directed by Lars von Trier and stars Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, and Uma Thurman, among others. It tells the story of Jack, a failed architect-turned-serial killer, relaying his most heinous acts to the Roman poet Virgil as they go through the nine circles of Hell.

The House that Jack Built became the talk of the town upon its release due to the shocking violence that it showed throughout the film. Some of the appalling scenes include violence against women, the killing of children, and the amputation of a duck’s leg. In spite of all that, the film got nominated and even won several film festival awards.

If poor publicity is still publicity, the makers of these films have surely earned their fifteen minutes of fame through their head-turning creations. Controversial films such as the ones on this list are risky to watch not just because of what you will see, but also because of how the film depicts a certain perspective on sensitive issues.
Controversies are everywhere, and some of them are worth noting. For all the latest in the most pressing topics, keep tuned into Nipashe.

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