Early in the film, it isn’t hard to picture Arthur as a harmless mother’s boy, albeit a little nuts of course. “I’m not supposed to have a gun” is his hushed response when he is given a gun ‘for protection’ by his colleague, Randall. But destiny has other plans. 

It is the most important scene of the film, and the gun is the most important symbol of the film, representing this definitive turning point. It is also making a poignant point: Arthur is very strange and mentally ill, but the start of the film sees him as a nice man, one who takes care of his mother.

But the gun drastically changes his perspective of the world. Suddenly, this awfully cruel world, from Arthur’s deluded perspective, can now be altered. Violently. Having just been jumped by a bunch of kids, his self confidence needed a boost, and it seems this gun is just what the doctor ordered, given he can no longer get his medication.

This single scene also depicts the reality of gun availability and mental illness coinciding: arguably the exact reason for the despicable shootings in the US. The film could not be more relevant or timely. 

Back to the movie, the Gun clearly represents the beginning of his violent transformation, but it seems a part of Arthur never wanted to become such a violent monster. Arthur kills Randall in a fashion without a gun, as if he demonstrating that having a gun turned him into a violent man, even if he doesn’t have a gun in his hand. His obvious relief after the brutal murder of Randall suggests that it was an act of revenge, given Randall was responsible for the beginning of Arthur’s transformation. He gave him the Gun. Perhaps there was a part of Arthur, somewhere, that never agreed with his own actions.

After he learns he is to be on Murray’s show, he begins to practice how he will introduce himself on the show while watching an episode, most probably seeing himself in the studio as he did earlier in the film. His hallucinations are cleverly presented in a very different fashion this time around: from our perspective of the scene, the sound of the episode he is watching becomes crowd reaction to what Arthur is saying. The whole audience laughs at his joke, and he in turn reacts to the crowd. We see his first real smile before he delivers his punchline: putting his gun to his throat, he pulls the trigger, throwing his body back and goes limp.

Of course metaphorically, the gun was loaded. Arthur Fleck is dead, and the Joker is  born.

Meanwhile, another gun creates true mayhem on the subway: as a cop is chasing the Joker, he accidentally shoots and kills a man – instantly he is surrounded by the other passengers, who jump on him. The Joker is free, and after getting off the train, he does another quick dance, and happily skips away, throwing away the clown mask he used to blend with crowd. The camera closes in on the mask, suggesting that Joker is now able to throw away his metaphorical mask, free to act in the way he wants.

This soon becomes very apparent when he is introduced on to the stage of his favourite show. He suddenly looks confident, and performs a quick dance for the audience, and then surprises the female guest with a long kiss before sitting down. As Murray says, it is quite the introduction

The Joker’s sense of humour is presented incredibly accurately while he is on the show. His ‘knock knock’ joke has the crowd displeased, and then the female guest tells him that the joke isn’t funny. His rant about comedy being subjective couldn’t be more accurate. The woman telling him that his joke can’t be funny on a show like Murray’s family-friendly entertainment is reminiscent of the Letterman show when he decided to cut the comedy routine of Bill Hicks.

While it is probably unintentional, this is an interesting look at what comedy is. Confessing that he shot three people who were ‘awful’, he is proud, telling Murray that what he did was a funny, a joke that aligns perfectly with humour of the Joker of other films/games. Murray tells him that the shooting is what caused the riots in Gotham, eliciting a smile from the Joker as he raises up his hand, taking responsibility and chuckling at his own joked. This again is amazing in its perfect connection to the Joker’s sense of humour. This is a guy whose idea of a joke is to blow up a building, or to shoot his former idol in the head. 



    • I just noticed the camera do that cos I’m obsessed with cinematography and will be studying it soon. I noticed it right away but had to go back and try to think of what possible things could such a shot be saying?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What is ‘The Joker?’ Is this a new arthouse movie or something? How come I’ve never heard of this?!

    And Joaquin Phoenix, he’s new on the scene right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol you’re a wanker 😛

      Why don’t ya go see it eh? You sccccaaaared?

      Hehe, fuck what other people say man, Have like one beer just to calm your thoughts a bit, and once it starts you’ll forget whatever it is that has been said. I’m happy I don’t follow any of that stuff, new movies new actors etc etc. Probably why I miss so many moves!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not scared of it. I’m at this point puking sick and tired of hearing about the goddamn thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Its kinda sad that all the media bullshit can be so loud just over one movie, And all the talk is dumb! Its over-shadowed the film entirely, if I hadn’t seen it by this point man it’d be impossible to watch without all that bullshit in the back of my head as I watched.

        Liked by 1 person


  3. Great post 🙂 I have just started reading all of your analysis on Joker and everything you write in this installment is spot-on. Your loaded gun analogy (“Arthur Fleck is dead and the Joker is born”) really stresses this point in the film. You know regardless of what one feels about this film (and I thought it was very good), people need to ignore the controversy and try watching it. In many ways, this film holds a mirror to our current society – when funding is cut for mental health, a certain number of males (it seems or is) will either give up (i.e. suicide) or take matters into their own hands (commit a shooting and then suicide). I know this may be too early to tell, but your love of this film is similar to my love of The Irishman (I too plan on writing numerous essays about it). Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks mate! And yeah I totally agree, as soon as I saw it I thought it was a mirror to society, tbh it kinda confuses me that people don’t see it that way and see some controversial silliness.
      And yeah, people need to see this and form their own opinion. 100% with you there.

      BTW I’m posting the final part of those Joker thingies today, I meant to post it before I went away this month but stupidly forgot! But I’d love to hear your thoughts too. 🙂 Most of it isn’t about the movie and more my thoughts on why it was so successful. But if you read the end of part three, it’ll lead into the other chunk of the final part, which is how I saw the ending.

      Heh and I can see why you’d want to write similar stuff about The Irishman! I loved that too. A re-watch is definitely in order

      If you do write about The Irishman, post me some links could ya? I’m interested in what you have to say and unfortunately my memory is very, very, very bad and I forget to read my fave blogs =/

      As always, thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: JOKER [2019] – FINAL THOUGHTS | 500 CRAPPY WORDS A DAY

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