JOKER

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JOKER

Ashfiq Islam, Staff Writer

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Warning: Major Joker Spoilers ahead

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!

Seriously I’m not kidding, I literally spoil the entire movie

This is your last chance

I warned you. 

Joaquin Phoenix’s role as the Joker is a great interpretation of the iconic comic book villain. Arthur Fleck, which is a new alias for Joker, is a man who can’t catch a break in life. Everything in his life goes wrong. He gets fired from his job, finds out he was adopted and lied to his whole life, and his comedy act is ridiculed at on live TV. On top of all that, Fleck has a mental illness which makes him laugh in all the wrong situations, giving him the iconic Joker laugh. 

The plot of the movie is mainly steady throughout the film. Arthur Fleck, who cares for his elderly mother, has a job as a rent-a-clown. He gets beaten up in the opening scene of the movie, gets a gun from a co-worker to protect himself, and ends up getting fired for bringing said gun to a children’s hospital. On his way back home, he kills three wall street workers with the gun. Fleck goes on a spiral from there. Here’s where the film gets hazy. Initially, we see Arthur fall in love and start dating a girl and everything starts to go right in his life. Halfway through the movie, though, Arthur opens a letter from his mother, addressed to Thomas Wayne, the father of The Dark Knight. The letter makes it apparent that Thomas Wayne is actually Fleck’s biological father. Fleck is enraged with his mother for not ever telling him and heads to Wayne Manor the next day. There, he is in a clown suit and entertains young Bruce Wayne. The fun is stopped though by the Waynes’ butler, Alfred Pennyworth. A few days pass and there is a riot at a theatre where Thomas Wayne is, as Fleck killing the wall street men had started an uproar among Gotham’s poor. Fleck gets past security and confronts Wayne, who tells him that Arthur is actually adopted and he can find proof at Arkham Asylum. Then, Fleck immediately heads to the asylum and his worst fears are confirmed. He is so enraged that he enters the hospital that night, where his mother is, and makes his kill count 4. The odd thing is that, Arthur heads home and enters the home of his “girlfriend.” He takes a seat and she seems scared. She then asks Arthur why he’s here. We then get a number of flashbacks to the scenes of the couple’s dates and realize they weren’t dates at all. Arthur was alone. He had imagined everything. At this point the audience was divided as to what was real and wasn’t real at this point. Soon after this scene, Arthur receives a phone call inviting him to his favorite talk show. He accepts the offer and goes to the studio the next day. 

As he is getting ready to make his entrance, he asks the host, “Could you introduce me as Joker?” 

The host doesn’t see why not and Arthur makes his appearance. He makes some obscene jokes on the stage, one of which includes running over children with his car. Then, he admits to his crimes and starts advocating for the poor of Gotham. As he requests to make one more joke, the host starts calling in security. Arthur insists on making the joke though, he makes a joke and shoots the host on live TV. He stands up and starts dancing and then shoots the host again. I believe that this scene is where we see Arthur Fleck turn into Joker. A scene that we can relate to our beloved Caped Crusader where he is more Batman than Bruce Wayne, much like Arthur Fleck is more Joker than Fleck.

This next scene is the climax of the movie. Arthur is in a cop car, and the whole city is on fire. Gotham’s poor are starting a rebellion. Then, out of nowhere, Arthur’s followers drive an ambulance into the cop car and free Arthur. At this moment, Arthur is unconscious and the camera pans over to a theatre which is showing a movie. Now, when this scene was shot, I immediately knew what was coming. I’d read it in the comics, watched it in cartoons and movies, and played it through it in games many times. My friend, on the other hand, who wasn’t a huge Batman fan didn’t recognize the scene. A few seconds pass and we see the Wayne’s running out of the theatre. They run into an alleyway, and Martha and Thomas Wayne are killed in the infamous Crime Alley. Batman is been born in that alleyway. There was no more Bruce Wayne there, only Batman.

The camera pans back to Arthur Fleck and he is now rallying up his followers. He then puts his fingers on the edge of his mouth and draws a smile with blood across his lips and mouth, giving him the infamous Joker smile. 

The movie ends with Arthur in Arkham Asylum. In this whole scene, Arthur is laughing. He is asked one question by a reporter, “Why are you laughing?”

Arthur stops laughing and says “You wouldn’t understand,” referencing the death of the Waynes and the birth of Batman. Arthur is then seen walking out of the interview room with blood stained shoes and attempting to break out of the asylum. 

I’ll give Joker a 10/10 stars. The visuals and cinematography are great, the music is amazing and the plot of the movie is truly captivating from start to finish. Although this a hugely new take on the Clown Prince of Crime’s origin, it’s still great. It attracts new fans while appealing to long time ones. Joker is great and I recommend watching it if you haven’t already. 

There’s been many questions after Joker was premiered in theatres. Will Joker get a sequel? Will Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker star in 2021’s The Batman? Both of these questions are impossible at the moment, but I can offer my theories on both. As for a sequel, I’m not 100% on whether or not Joker will get a sequel. The problem is that the movie can be interpreted in many different ways. Some believe most or all of the movie was imagined by Arthur, while others, like me and my friends, believe most of the movies events actually occurred. Our main reason for believing this is the death of the Wayne’s, which Fleck couldn’t have imagined so perfectly. But, to get to the point, it’s impossible to answer whether or not Joker will get a sequel until the director give word on the topic. As for 2021’s The Batman and Phoenix’s involvement, I have an answer that I’m sure most people and fans will agree with. I, personally, believe that these two movies will not be correlated. I have a couple of points, but I’ll cover the two biggest ones here. 

#1. Phoenix’s Joker is too old. 

In the movie, Arthur seems to be in the age range anywhere from 35-45. Bruce Wayne seems to be around the age of 6 in this movie. If you know anything about The Dark Knight, you know he makes his first appearance at the age of 26 as The Batman. That would mean Arthur Fleck would be in the age range of 55-65, which I think seems too old for Joker to take on a young and strong Batman.

#2. Arthur Fleck

The biggest mystery in all of The Batman’s series is Joker’s secret identity. Before Joker, we’d never seen a name placed on the supervillain. We had seen an alias he used, Jack Napier, but it was made apparent that it was just that and nothing more. All throughout Batman’s career he could never figure out the Joker’s true identity even though he is the world’s greatest detective. Knowing Arthur Fleck and his name would completely throw off the battles between Batman and Joker. It wouldn’t be true to comics and many fans wouldn’t appreciate that. His mysterious background is what makes Joker, Joker. It just wouldn’t be the same. 

Well that’s my honest opinion on Joker. It’s the best movie that I’ve ever seen. Again, if you haven’t seen it, please do.

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