Joker (2019) Poster

(2019)

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  • Not exactly. It's an origin story for the comic book character, the Joker. The movie does not directly tie into Ledger's portrayal in "The Dark Knight." The movie is clearly inspired by some aspects of Ledger's performance, but it takes place in the 80s, far before the events of "The Dark Knight." Edit

  • This Joker is a completely standalone non-canon take on the character. It doesn't tie into any existing universe, but it is still based on the DC character. The Joker famously said in "The Killing Joke" that his origin story is "multiple choice." Edit

  • In preparation for his role, he lost weight with guidance from a doctor. He is perfectly healthy! It is not uncommon for dedicated actors to go through seemingly extreme weight loss for a part (former Batman Christian Bale in 'The Machinist' for example) .Because of the costs involved with making these films ,insurance requirements & partly due to Heath ledgers death after previously playing the Joker, the Physical & mental wellbeing while under contract is monitored very closely by the production companies involved. Edit

  • Bruce Wayne is only a child in this movie and doesn't really play a high-impact part, although Bruce's dad is a big part of the film. Edit

  • While he isn't seen in cape and cowl, Bruce Wayne shows up for a few minutes towards the middle of the film, as a child, and appears later on a fateful alley walk with his parents. Edit

  • In the movie Arthur is an adult. He would have been separated from her as a child but, once he turned 18, if he wanted to live with his mother as soon as she was released nobody could stop that. He also likely repressed a lot, even buying the Thomas is actually his father theory that still means we have no idea where Arthur was when she stayed at the asylum, how he contacted her and ended up living with her. If the document is a fake or not does not change that he would have been taken by child services for a while yet in his daydream he says he always lived with his mom as the only man of the family. It's not impossible he just never met her again until he was an adult after she was committed rightfully or not and tried to live back a fantasy. PS: Because if things didn't fall into place, the director would have no way to make arthur fleck the joker, and justify the name of the movie Edit

  • Passive people dont always stand up for their rights. He also brought a gun in a children hospital and lied by saying it was a prop when asked why he has a gun on him. Even if he throws Randall under the bus how is the boss supposed to believe him when he tries to dodge the fault altogether on instinct because he knew he'll lose the job if he tells the truth. Plus he did bring the gun in the children hospital (the same way he started dancing with it and shot the wall in his apartment) not something he did for no purpose he did want to carry the gun for self-defense even though it's a firing offense if he is caught with it. Arthur can't blame all his decision on other people being jerks or his illnesses some are his own poor judgement, like not reporting the beatdown to the store owner or calling the cops about it. Also worth noting despite initially claiming to like Arthur, his boss clearly doesn't with the sign incident having him be prebiased against anything what Arthur says because he is inherently untrustworthy as a mental patient, not even Arthur's heavy bruises seemed to convince him. Also it's possible Arthur may have decided to not bother explaining why he had the gun because he felt (possibly correctly) that nobody would listen to him anyway. Edit

  • 1981- 82 .The Cinema seen near the end the end of the film is showing 'Blow Out' .This film was first released in New York in July 1981. And the cinema appears to be an 'upmarket venue' showing 'First or 2nd' runs of films ... Also Arthur & his mother have Video Players & telephone answer machines - not common to 'lower working class families' in the 70s. Few characters are wearing flared Jeans,Bright suits or have long hair ,these were very much Out Of Style by the '80s This films many similarities to 'The King Of Comedy' ,filmed in 1981 & released in 1982 may also be a pointer to the time it is set. PS: Random nothing specific to point to, but the director tried to make us believe sometimes in the 80's when charlie chaplin's movies were still played in the halls. Edit

  • Penny used to work for the Wayne family and may have been able to afford it at the time. She may also have been gifted it as a way to work from home or a parting gift

    Edit: She worked for the Waynes 30 years before the events of this movie (although in the flashback, she doesn't look like she's living in the early fifties). I'm pretty sure they hadn't invented VHS-recorders back then. Edit

  • Gotham could possibly have its own Wall Street. Additionally Wall Street is a metaphor or metonym for rich people. Also even though 'Gotham' is a 'Make Believe' city it is clearly modelled on New York - as seen in previous films & the 'City out of control' matches the New York of the early '80s when the film appears to be set - in 1981 there was the highest number of murders recorded & the reported crime figures eventually led to various measures including the eventual 'urban renewal programs'. PS: Good question. as I try to mention in every answer. Just tried to build up something that we could relate to in these days and also have something related to the comic book series.

    Edit: Gotham is based on Chicago and Metropolis (where Superman/Clark Kent lives) is based on New York as per the DC wiki. Edit

  • Arthur suffers from schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder, post-traumatic stress and gelastic seizures (uncontrolled laughter). He also shows signs of hallucinations and depression.

    Previously, this condition was referred to as "hebephrenia." Edit

  • Although it's never mentioned in the film, it's heavily implied that Arthur may have anorexia nervosa, which is a disorder that affects women and men. He is obviously very thin, his skeletal appearance is similar to that of a person suffering from anorexia. We never see him eat, but we do see him feed his mother, and eat nothing himself. when he climbs into the fridge, there is very little food inside. Nicotine is also an appetite suppressant, so there could be another reason why he smokes so much adding to his frail physique. Anorexia is sometimes considered a form of body dismorphia, which could also be why he seems more comfortable when wearing his clown makeup.

    . Edit

  • No..he can read letters & his journal while haphazard in structure and style seemingly contains very few spelling mistakes . The obvious mistake ' I hope my death makes more cents' is presumably meant a joke by Arthur . Edit

  • As it is a stand-alone Joker is able to avoid this problem; some possibilities are: 1) Joker is not a physical threat by that point, simply a supervillain who uses traps, bombs and psychotically loyal goons. 2) Arthur's actual age isn't as old as Phoenix and he just looks that way because he's unwell and a smoker; Fleck could begin taking care of himself and be a villain for a very young Batman (depending on Canon Batman starts at 25, so if Fleck is just an old looking 35, he would be 52 when "Year One" takes place). 2b) would be Batman starts even younger, similarly to how the show Gotham is running, with a 40-something Joker a realistic threat to a teenage Bruce. 3) The name joker ends up being a title that Gotham's craziest, most dangerous and influential criminal takes over; this would allow for a "Jokerverse" where each style of Joker gets his day. Failed comedian turned anarchist murderer, mob boss using the insanity plea, a pure force of chaos and evil- Gotham's dark side personified. Todd Phillips' also indicates that this isn't necessarily The Joker we're seeing here. It could just be a Joker. Edit

  • There's one possibility that she's always been a genuinely disturbed woman, there's another that she was basically set up by Thomas Wayne to conceal his affair, or possibly even a mixture of the two. Ultimately, given the sheer volume of Unreliable Narrator going on in this movie, there's no possible way of knowing for sure. That said, it's likely that Penny's issues have a deeper root cause than mere sadness. Edit

  • It's implied that Arthur killed the psychologist who was talking to him and asked him about what he was laughing about at the end of the movie.

    I did think that was probably the case but I also thought it was odd she was alone with him in the room considering what he had supposedly done. Edit

  • It's called Pseudobulbar affect (PBA), or emotional incontinence, which is a type of emotional disturbance characterized by uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing, or other emotional displays. PBA occurs secondary to a neurologic disorder or brain injury. Patients may find themselves crying uncontrollably at something that is only moderately sad, being unable to stop themselves for several minutes. Episodes may also be mood-incongruent: a patient may laugh uncontrollably when angry or frustrated, for example. Sometimes, the episodes may switch between emotional states, resulting in the patient crying uncontrollably before dissolving into fits of laughter. Edit

  • Yes, he smokes the American Spirit brand. Edit

  • Four possibilities:

    1) It's to show how escape has become hard for Arthur. He wants to shut himself away from the world completely, and the fridge provides a quick and easy way to do just that, but only temporarily.

    2.) Metaphorically Gotham is presented to us as a cold place, in which whatever the character does he's punished for. The fridge can be understood as a representation of Gotham itself; it's cold, cramped, uncomfortable and suffocating. The character feels like he can no longer breathe, which is reinforced his consistent laughing which often appears to choke him.

    3.) It's a form of rebirth. The fridge can be seen as a womb of sorts, with Arthur climbing inside taking the fetal position and emerging anew as Joker. This also reinforces the idea that he's a product of his environment - cold and dark.

    4.) It's a suicidal fantasy, which would explain why it quickly cuts to him lying on the bed. In the first act of the film, we see Arthur's fantasy of meeting Murray play out on the screen, and perhaps this is just another case of that. Others have been quick to point out that he'd have been unable to get out once he climbed inside, so it's certainly plausible. Nevertheless, it works brilliantly as a metaphor for being born again. Edit

  • If your boyfriend is much stronger and bigger than you, how are you going to stop him abusing your child? Going to the police might only make things worse. Edit

  • Yes Edit

  • The film's script clarifies that while his producer tries to end the interview, Murray refuses because he believes that it's making great television and that he may win an Emmy or a Peabody for it. Viewers have offered several possibilities:

    1.) He could've been stalling you can see his producer motioning to him indicating that they called the police.

    2.) It's possible that Murray wanted to continue making fun of Arthur Fleck to amuse the audience's thoughts on TV. Arthur even makes it very clear on the show that Murray was replaying his video to make fun of him and that's why he calls Murray "awful."

    3.) He probably knew that he was gonna die either way. May as well try and see how the maniac's mind works.

    4.) He didn't know that Arthur brought a gun with him, and there were several other people in the studio. With that knowledge, Murray would most likely think he wouldn't do anything to him, and even if he did, he probably assumed that everyone in the studio would gang up on Arthur.

    5.) He appeared to be trying to show Arthur the error of his ways during the conversation

    6.) Murray may have realized that either he was going to get lots of ratings or make television history. Too tempting to let go.

    7.) He simply doesn't believe Arthur. Edit

  • The steep stairs are connected to Shakespeare and Anderson Avenues at West 167th Street in the Highbridge section of the Bronx, New York City. Edit

  • The pillow is crushing the tube, probably the nose too. Edit

  • It's repeatedly shown in the movie that Arthur lives in a city of corruption. Accepting that, it's easy to accept that any nurses who'd be required to step-in were just busy or neglectful/incompetent. While to assume that everyone in it is either corrupt or lazy and shiftless is perhaps getting into Arthur's nihilistic viewpoint a bit too closely. Another possibility exists; the movie makes a point of establishing that the city's budget is practically nonexistent and funding for city services has been slashed to the bone. This would presumably also include the hospitals. Simply put, there probably aren't enough nurses on staff at the time to cover all the stations and respond to all the alerts, affording Arthur an opportunity he might otherwise not have in a better healthcare system. Edit

  • It was a Pre-Model 36 version of the Smith & Wesson Chief's .38 Special, it was mistakenly misidentified as a Colt Detective Special. Edit

  • Arthur's therapy and medication are paid for by the city government. The entire program was cut and Arthur can't afford it on his own. Edit

  • You can see that Murray himself does little goofy dances all the time during his show and Arthur sorta seems to have taken that trait from him. It's also supposed to be a highly emotional moment for him, the first time he takes control of his own life. He basically celebrates that. Edit

  • "comedy is subjective", It is sort of a truism but it does fit, some people like a certain kind of humor that can fall completely flat for others. except for the fact that obviously he's using it to justify his own actions to the point of considering 'funny' to commit murder in the context of the perspective change when he starts considering his tragic life a whole big joke with no punchline. Edit

  • Many fans doubt the reason behind Murray's inviting Arthur was to help him or get famous. He clearly was mocking him. For example when he implied that Arthur laughed in his stand up comedy performance because he thought laughing so much would force the viewers to laugh too (suggesting that he was bad at jokes so he chose this as an alternate way to entertain people instead)

    Also, Murray's face expressions clearly explained that he was taunting Arthur through every word that he spoke, and that he was not being amused by any of his jokes. He had just called him to increase the ratings of his show by interviewing a person who had gone viral because of his weird behavior. (Laughing previously during his performance instead of doing comedy)

    The real life late night talk show host David Letterman was known for inviting quirky people onto his show and subtly mocking them, especially if they had low social awareness

    However many fans prefer to believe that the invitation was real and that Murray's motives were not merely to make fun of Arthur. Showing the clip of the lousy performance and then having Arthur give another lousy performance live would have been bad television, and Murray is, if nothing else, a good television host. Fans imagine that he was hoping that Arthur could defy the studio audience's expectations, have a successful (or even semi-sucessful) routine, and have people cheering for his bravery at taking the stage. A little bit like the William Hung experience on "American Idol". Hung was a bad singer, but his bravery at taking the stage and his good spirit about the audience's reaction soon won them over. Murray was, hoping for something similar. Edit

  • Todd Phillips suggests that this isn't necessarily supposed to be the actual Batman-fighting Joker. It's possibly him, but it could be someone who inspired him, or someone who wants to be him, or any number of possibilities. Leaving out "the" introduces a necessary ambiguity; after all, a key part of most versions of the Joker is that no one, not even he, truly know knows who he is or where he comes from. Edit

  • The comedy club probably had a disclaimer that they owned the rights to all footage taken inside the club, and authorized the use of the video. Edit

  • Randall gave the gun to Arthur for money (which he intended to demand from him later). Even then Randall takes advantage of the good nature of Arthur by talking him into taking the gun.

    When things go awry, Randall quickly (and successfully) tries to push the blame on Arthur, which is when Arthur realizes the true colors of Randall.

    Then later, when the walls are closing in on the gun, Randall makes contact with Arthur again, to ensure that "their stories will align". This shows us that it is not an imagination of Arthur or a misinterpretation but rather that Randall is fully aware of his role in handing the gun over to Arthur.

    Most of these contacts are also contrasted by Gary. Who is never mean to Arthur and is treated rather mean by by everybody (even (maybe unintentionally) Arthur). Only in the last scene Arthur will spare him because he never was mean towards Arthur.

    Based on that logic, the last encounter of the trio gave Gary and Randall what they deserve

    So Randall lied that Arthur got it from someone else and that Arthur even tried to buy one from Randall. The point of this is to show the self-serving nature of the world around Arthur, and how willing people are to throw others under the bus.

    The point is that Randall wasn't as good of a friend as we thought he was. The point is that he threw Arthur under the bus even when he didn't need to. Edit

  • No, WB wanted Leonardo Dicaprio instead of Joaquin Phoenix but Todd Phillips refused that because he wrote the script with Joaquin in mind. Edit

  • When Arthur gets his mother's records from the hospital, where it can be seen that she was involuntarily admitted at the age of 25 on November 2, 1952. Also in those records are some newspaper clippings that reveal Arthur was three years old when the authorities learned that his mother's boyfriend abused them. This puts Arthur's birth year in 1948 or 1949, meaning that he was 32-33 years old during the events of the film. Edit

Spoilers

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The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • Because Arthur realized the reason why he was asked to go on the show was to embarrass him. He was going to be the "joke" to everyone. He knew that they were going to laugh at him, rather than with him. So he made a "comedy" bit out of it instead. Murray became the "joke" and that joke was death. That's exactly what Arthur alludes to right before he shoots him. He says: "Want to hear a joke?". He became the Joker. No one else thought that it was funny but him. Just like no one thought his comedy bits were funny but him. Edit

  • Arthur's father is not revealed for certain in the film. The movie strongly suggests that he been adopted by his "mother", so that the identity of his biological parents is a mystery. But it is also possible that Thomas Wayne fathered him with his Penny Fleck, but later denied it and had fake adoption papers put into her commitment papers. Edit

  • One of the mind-bending twists is that whole sections of the movie are manifestations of Arthur delusions - such as his entire relationship with his next-door neighbor Sophie. Beginning when Sophie knocks on Arthur's door and is flattered when he confessed he was following her to her place of employment. After his stand-up act, Arthur and Sophie's little romance was the only heartwarming part of Joker - but none of it was real. What was real was that after Arthur murdered his mother, he broke into Sophie's apartment, frightening her. She reminded Arthur that her young daughter was sleeping in their bedroom and the film reveals that Sophie and Arthur, in fact, barely know each other. Arthur is next seen exiting Sophie's apartment but it's never made clear whether he murdered Sophie or not. A contextual clue that maybe he didn't is later, Fleck didn't murder Gary (Leigh Gill) because the little person was the only clown at his workplace who was nice to him. Did Sophie, who was at best cordial and smiled at Arthur in the elevator, also escape death for being "nice" to him? The movie doesn't say. But maybe, if she lived, Sophie called the police about Arthur, which could be another reason why Detectives Garrity (Bill Camp) and Burke (Shea Whigham) returned to Arthur's apartment building to talk to him again. It's left ambiguous in the end. Up until that point Arthur has only been killing people he perceived as responsible for his situation (his mother, Randall, subway attackers). He wasn't even going to kill Murray until he kept provoking him. Even though she's frightened she still acts quite nice to Arthur (offering to get his mother) and even though she could call the police, Arthur doesn't seem to be thinking that far ahead stll (he let Gary go despite every chance he'd call the cops). However cinematographer Lawrence Sher had a more definite answer. "We wanted to make the interpretation of the real versus what's not real, a part of the viewer's experience," Sher recently told /Film. "For instance, his relationship to Sophie is a fantasy to him. Some people have asked me, 'Was she killed?' Todd makes it clear she wasn't killed. Arthur is killing people who've wronged him in a certain way, and Sophie never wronged him." Sher continued, "In terms of what we did visually to play with the real and not real, there are callbacks and scenes that mirror each other. We leave hints using imagery or way we covered scenes similarly between scene. Outside of that, I like that people can have the conversation and come to their own conclusions." The Sophie twist puts into question just how much of the events depicted on screen are taking place inside of Arthur's head and how much are real. Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver's ending doubles down on this dilemma in the final scene, which depicts Arthur in Arkham Asylum telling a counselor she wouldn't understand why he's laughing. The scene has led to debates over whether or not the entire film is Arthur's fantasy. As for Beetz's character, Sher says it was the film's intention not to have the character die by Arthur's hands. Some fans might disagree with Sher, however, since Sophie's reaction to Arthur being in his apartment could be viewed as wronging Arthur. Edit

  • It is left unclear in the movie and is left to the viewer to interpret the idea. Penny's story is that after their affair he had her sign papers so that it would keep quiet and appear as nothing more than adoption, where Thomas says she was crazy and adopted him. However there are many clues to allude that Thomas is his father, including the photo of a young penny signed "T.W." , as well as the fact that Bruce's actor played a young Joaquin in another film. Overall, Thomas' character is portrayed as a corrupt scumbag, so it is plausible he forged papers to save face. Thomas' actor even stated in interviews he played the character as if he was Arthur's father. Edit

  • An unnamed rioter. When Arthur Fleck inadvertently started a movement of ''poor vs rich'', the poor donned clown masks, and started to protest. Later on, those protests turned to riots, and when one of them saw the Wayne family, he recognized Thomas and shot him and his wife. Edit

  • Two possibilities: 1) It's later, as the building appears to be Arkham. He's committed there instead of going to jail because of his insanity (in the comics, whenever the Joker is confined, it is at Arkham Asylum, never a regular penitentiary). It appears he is laughing about the death of Thomas Wayne, we see a flash of that scene again for a reason. 2) It's meant to be deliberately ambiguous, him being locked up for his crimes. But fans have commented that they think he was always locked up and the entire film takes place in his head. Edit

  • The movie appears to be set in 1980's Gotham City, which is heavily inspired by New York in that time period. This is before the era of ubiquitous metal detectors, photo i.d.'s required for entrance to all business offices, etc. At the time, it would not have been unusual to allow Arthur to enter without frisking. Also, Arthur doesn't seem inherently unstable at first - when they meet he's just an enthusiastic fan, and based on the footage he played Arthur is just incredibly awkward and sad; it's arguably not clear until it's too late that Arthur is actually a danger. Also - and this may seem like a cop-out, but - unreliable narrator is at play here. The entire ending, after all, plays like a deranged and alienated man's ultimate fantasy - he publicly gets even with everyone who ever humiliated him, murders a famous celebrity live on national television, and not only does everyone love him, he inspires a mass movement that seems to worship him. A key point of the movie is that it gradually becomes clear that we cannot entirely trust anything we've seen. After all, Arthur's delusions invent an entire romantic subplot that turns out to have only been in his head. While some version of these events may have happened, there's no concrete evidence that they played out in any way like we see in the film, they could just be what Arthur believes / wishes happened. For all we know, Arthur never shot Murray Franklin at all, and is locked up at the end for one of the many other things we see him do, or something else entirely. Also notice that the show's director made a "cut" gesture in the background, meaning camera feed was probably cut off and somebody may have at least tried to slip out and find a phone to call the police. (Early eighties, no cell phones.) Meanwhile, Murray was doing what he was best at. He talked to the madman, let him have his rant, give him attention, be entertaining and engaging. In doing this, he kept Joker's attention on him and off the audience and other two guests. Maybe what he does could be seen as less idiotic and more heroic in that light. "Not all people are awful." Also, Murray seems to understand that Arthur isn't actually insane, It's clear that Arthur is trying to justify his crimes, and as far as Murray can tell, Arthur is pretending to be the subway murderer to gain attention. He asks several times to get Arthur to confirm that he's the killer. He would expect his crew to be running for help at this point as his stage manager was questioning whether or not Arthur was a good guest to have. Also Murray had no way of knowing Arthur had his gun on him. Perhaps he even expected his crew to check for weapons, but they slipped up. It could be that it's someone else's fault Murray got killed because his team didn't up security on the show like they really should have. Edit

  • She was real, but only his first meeting with her in the elevator, the stalking and her final scene in her apartment (when she questions him about his name) happened. Everything between that was in his head. Edit

  • There is every indication that the whole thing was in Arthur's head. If it was reality there is no way ( after killing all those people ) they would have allowed Arthur to be in the interview room at Arkham just sitting opposite his counsellor. The whole thing was brilliant, and huge, and like he said to her, "I could tell you a joke, but you wouldn't get it."

    Does the fact that the original health worker and interview room, were different from those at the end of the movie not suggest it was a reality and at least some of the events did occur?

    Edit: There isn't "every indication" it was all in his head. The Joke was this wrecked, adopted child creating a boy just like him (Bruce Wayne). Another one of his "jokes" (visions/episodes/whathaveyou) was more than likely the killing of the therapist, hence the whacky running back and forth through the hallways with the single bodyguard. So the therapist more than likely sat in a room with this man alone, as is often depicted in film, but all she got out of him was hysterical laughing during an episode before he was brought back to his room.

    Edit: Another possibility is that some scenes were real, and some scenes, such as everything from after he shot Murray until the final interview scene, were in his head. Edit

  • This Question, like many others, is answered by the theory that - None of it was real. It's all in his head. Arthur is in Arkham. If Arthur was a killer and incredibly dangerous, would he just be sitting opposite his counselor, even if in handcuffs. Like Arthur said at the end "I could tell you a joke - but you wouldn't get it."

    Alternatively, in the bag that Randall gave him, it looked like there were plenty of bullets, even if one doesn't assume that the gun came pre-loaded. And Arthur could presumably have bought more ammunition in the days between first getting the gun and killing Murray.

    There is also the possibility that the events of the subway killing happened differently than as portrayed. What we do know from media and the police were that 3 men were fatally shot, but not how many times. The events showing Arthur firing 8 rounds, none of which missed, could not have happened for two main reasons. The first is that his revolver only holds 6 rounds maximum. The second is that he could not have reloaded the weapon while also carrying his bag in the opposite hand. He would have needed to set this bag down in order to retrieve two additional rounds and insert them in the weapon. -- One could deduce that Arthur could have fired as few as 3 or 4 rounds, with the actual incident being less dramatic than depicted. Edit

  • The first two, arguably very true. But the third guy is already wounded and running away. That's murder in most jurisdictions. Plus, Arthur isn't allowed to own a gun- so he'd go down for that at least. And that's assuming Arthur is in a right enough state of mind to think it all through; he might just be running in a blind panic. Given Arthur is also an unreliable narrator - like his relationship with his neighbour and the circumstances under which he got the gun - it's also difficult to discern whether he was actually attacked first. Then there's him only having his word, a lower-class middle-aged mental patient who has been committed in the past and who'd just been fired from his job for bringing a gun to a children ward, that he needed to defend himself with lethal force from three younger upstanding upper-class businessmen with their well-off families no doubt pressing murder charges and the Wayne company likely backing them in a court trial. Edit

  • The first instance of him staggering is after kicking a trash can. He probably injured his foot or leg then. Edit

  • One curious fact about Joker's origins is that they're left up in the air. This means that no one really knows where he came from and this gives an aura of mystery to the character. Brett Cullen and Joaquin Phoenix have an age difference of about 20 years, so this could realistically be true.

    However, it would imply a large deviation from the comics by making Arthur Bruce's brother. Director Todd Phillips has been very vocal stating that he and his team would be taking liberties with the character's mythos, so it could be open to interpretation. Edit

  • It's a direct homage to the film Taxi Driver. It's also a callback to the first friendly moment he had (or imagined having) with her, when they commiserate about how bad it is to live in an old building with problems like an erratic elevator, and she makes the gesture as a self-revealing way to show how sick of it she is. It could also be interpreted it as him threatning her if she told anyone he was in her apartment. Edit

  • Throughout the film, Arthur appears to have depression which is displayed many times throughout: He lives a lonely and tortured existence, suffering from a mental illness that only alienates him further. During the opening scene, where Arthur is so depressed that he has to yank the corners of his mouth up into the shape of a smile, which just doesn't do the trick. And if viewed closely, a single tear is on his right cheek, smudging his makeup a bit. Immediately following is a scene where a group of hoodlums steal his sign when he's doing promotional work as a clown. Arthur tries running after them (calling for help and getting no response), which isn't easy given he's wearing oversized shoes. Just when he thinks he's caught up to them in an alleyway, they smash the sign over his face. Followed by beating him until all he can do is lay on the ground in pain. To make matters worse, he looked like he was genuinely enjoying himself before they stole his sign, not just faking a good mood for the job. Afterwards despite having bruises all over his body, his employer accuses Arthur of stealing the sign and dodging work because he finds people stealing a sign and beating him up over it too implausible, and quite clearly assumes Arthur is lying because he is mentally ill, before declaring the cost of the sign will be cut from his paycheck, Arthur just stares and smiles at him in tranquil disbelief and anger. Also whenever Arthur's condition causes him to uncontrollably laugh, in the most inappropriate situations that angers people he didn't mean to offend, with it visibly distressing and physically hurting him. Usually the Joker's laughter is portrayed as campy, terrifying, or some combination thereof. Here, we see Arthur struggle with his rattling laughter, trying but failing to control it as it tears through him. Also on several occasions, the sounds and facial expressions he makes are indistinguishable from uncontrollable sobbing. Like he's laughing to keep from crying, or trying to cry and failing. There's also the scene when Arthur is on the bus and starts playing peek-a-boo with a baby who is staring at him, which makes the baby laugh. The mother then tells him not to bother her kid (which is sad enough, because he was making the baby happy) and he starts having a laughing fit. When she asks what's so funny, he hands her a card explaining he has a condition. Think about that - he had a laminated card to explain his condition in the 1980's. That's how many times something he couldn't control bothered/annoyed/confused someone, that he had to go out and have a card specially made just to receive a modicum of understanding. To make it worse, the mother possibly doesn't even care about this explanation. She turns around with an annoyed look on her face while Arthur laughs, like it's an inconvenience for her. Or perhaps it's pity on the woman's face. Either way, the scene really hammers in how Arthur doesn't really have a chance in the world of Gotham. Possibly the crowning moment is when he gets his first stand-up gig. Arthur gets a case of the jitters, which triggers a laughing fit that goes for a whole excruciating minute where he can't even put two words together. It gets to the point where he's struggling just to breathe. This scene can hit home to anyone who's ever done stand-up comedy and/or got stage fright. Edit

  • It's indicated that Arthur himself never truly believed they were together, that's when we finally know that it had actually only been Arthur fantasizing about her all along.

    Alternatively, it could be that he was numb from so many traumatic events (beatdowns and tauntings, murdering people, investigation by the police, losing his job, losing/killing his mother, being mocked on national TV, rejection from the Wayne family, not to realize his whole abusive crazy childhood) that realizing Sophie didn't actually know him was just one more rejection and loss piled on. It's possible he was incapable of any human emotion anymore, besides, it would seem, glee at destruction, mayhem, and homicide. Edit

  • Three possibilities: 1) He is likely still sore from the jumping he took at the beginning of the movie. 2) It's from all the abuse he suffered from his mothers boyfriend when he was younger. 3) His foot hurts from when he was kicking a trash bin earlier in the film Edit

  • There are nine confirmed deaths in the film, six of them killed by Arthur.

    The three Wall Street businessmen: shot to death, on the subway

    Randall: stabbed in head with scissors

    Penny Fleck: smothered with a pillow in the hospital

    Murray Franklin: shot in the head at point blank range.

    (Although it's unconfirmed, it's heavily implied Arthur may have also killed the psychiatrist at the end)

    Thomas and Martha- killed by an unnamed clown-masked gunman (implied to be Joe chill).

    Unknown clown - shot by one of detectives in the subway car (Confirmed by Gene at the dressing room with Arthur and Murray) Edit

  • Without corroborating evidence, such as eye witness reports, security camera footage or the murder weapon itself, it would be difficult to convince a judge to issue a warrant. Edit

  • Even if the victims are rich, police are useless is still a big reason why everything went downhill, and as seen in the subway scene disgrunted citizens don't care if you're a cop they'll rough you up, so they likely need time to get a warrant and convince cops to go in the slums to make an arrest. Also because there were no cameras and no reliable witnesses to confirm the identity of the suspect. The police are pretty sure that Arthur did it, but they don't have confirming evidence yet, and don't want to be made fools because they caught a patsy. They want to slowly roast Arthur with repeated visits until he either snaps or confesses. Edit

  • Yes, it is possible, but considering how things develop and are revealed through the film this all seems highly unlikely and if it were true, then it would give the viewing audience no clue. Edit

  • Possibly. It's not established Penny's not Arthur/Joker's biological mother and that she ever lied about her relationship with Thomas Wayne. The only evidence are the words of Thomas and Alfred (who would both have an obvious interest in denying that Mr. Wayne had any bastard children or ever engaged in affairs while married) and the papers Arthur steals from Arkham (which might well be sham evidence concocted to bury any danger of Thomas' reputation getting ruined from word spreading of him having an affair with one of the help, let alone that same help bearing him a child). To be absolutely fair, the Arkham case file is more evidence than just the word of a clearly deranged woman. We don't actually see Thomas doing anything wrong (other than being understanbly hostile towards a Arthur after the stunt he pulled on Bruce) that may suggest he is so amoral and corrupt that he would go into such illegal extents, instead of doing what real rich people do when they want to hide old shames (hire a "fixer" lawyer to quietly reach an economic agreement). Edit

  • Yes, within the scope of this movie these things are absolutely possible. A major theme in the film is the power that the wealthy have over the lives of the poor; a man like Thomas Wayne could easily cover up something like that. Edit

  • Viewers have offered two opinions

    1.) He's an unreliable narrator who has a poor relationship with his mother. It might all be a lie and that he accepted the abuse claim since he got tired of her.

    2.) There's also the likelihood of (physical) trauma-induced amnesia or he simply repressed the memory. Edit

  • Viewers have to consider that the lie goes deeper than just the father's identity, if that is a lie at all. Through the information he saw on the medical record - and he kills her after seeing that record - it turns out that she had let him be abused and beaten up since a tender age, which would probably be the cause of his mental and physical issues. In his line before the murder, he mentions her full name, and how he has not been happy a minute of his whole life, so the terrible childhood, which maybe now came back to him, is a real factor. Mentioning the comedy, so a play, might also imply a sort of detachment now that he understands that it was all a lie from the beginning and she's not even his real mother (if that's what he believes). Edit

  • Kind of. He is one of the lead factors to the Joker going insane. Edit

See also

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