Stupidly, I forgot to post this before I went on a holiday. Well, I say holiday, in reality I didn’t leave the state. But any 10-day vacation away from the ghetto I live in is a holiday in my book. A month ago a guy got stabbed in the neck with a screwdriver over a drug deal gone sour. And it didn’t surprise anyone.
But enough about my sad existence, and more on Mr Fleck’s sad existence!
When writing my other posts, I wasn’t aware of how successful this movie was. I had no idea: A billion dollars, a soaring, record-setting box-office result for an R-rated movie!
And this is a film that wasn’t released in China mind you, a market responsible for a significant percentage of MCU earnings. Why it didn’t play in China would be an interesting point to explore, but by someone far more educated on such things than myself.
I’m unsure of when that decision was made, but if it was a late one, surely the absurd negative media bias played a part. What I find quite funny though is all these people protesting the film, making a fuss about a film that most hadn’t actually seen yet… Well, it gave the film free publicity!
This reaction is the exact reason why no other filmmakers have gone near the issue of mass-shooters, despite it wreaking havoc so often that many reports show that there have been more shootings than days in 2019. This is more than last year, and the year before. It is getting worse, and one does not need to live in the US to know how bad it is.
But a possible depiction of how someone could come to behave this way elicits a biased media shitstorm, despite the fact that in reality, Joker is not only relevant, it is essentially social commentary on this scourge, or at least the sort of people who are gradually becoming a larger part of the population.
The latter statement there is, I think, why this made so much money away from the US. This movie has nothing to do with school shootings, and there is nothing concrete in the film to say this. Rather, it is demonstrating a disturbingly realistic view of the world where even in a laid-back country like Australia, people are being stabbed in the neck with screwdrivers. Not to mention that a novel could be written about what is happening in Europe politically.
Anyway, enough of that, lets quickly get back to how I see the end of the film in detail.
The crux of my take on the ending is, as I said, an extension on Keith’s suggestion that the climax of the film was a delusion. My somewhat bizarre take on it is, first, no one was ever wearing a joker mask. That was what Arthur wanted to see, he needed confirmation that what he did was a good thing.
The joker mask motif is obviously prevalent in the last moments of the movie, and again represents what Arthur wants to see at the end. It represents his need for recognition. He killed Arthur so he could become the Joker, not to mention shooting his idol-turned-enemy on live television. So what does he see?
The Joker masks of course, but also what is behind the masks, which are different versions of himself. He can see each small weakness of his past behind each mask, and he also sees how they have gradually disappeared, in his warped opinion that is. Therefore, each one of them is yelling and pushing to get closer, to congratulate him on ridding himself of his biggest weakness: his personality. Congratulating him on achieving what he perceives to be his full potential.
Killing Arthur Fleck was his only way forward in life, and his final pose on the cop car is his realisation that, finally, his life has meaning. Not only that, he can see the Joker that he will become, and the fame and greatness that will come with it.
Okay, it’s incredibly far-fetched… yes, but it is plausible given that delusions often become ‘delusions of grandeur’. It is a common symptom within those who have completely lost touch with reality: their self-confidence shoots up as far as possible as they begin to believe that they are extremely special, a chosen one, and on the planet for some type of divine purpose.
And hey, I can tell from experience! When I was in that world, completely and utterly disconnected from reality, I literally felt like a God, a Messiah destined to spread the word, whatever word that was I do not know. Being a writer, I knew that what I was writing would change the world. Once I returned to reality, what I had written was complete nonsense.
From my experience then, from my perspective, it appears that this is how the Joker feels as he can see a crowd of his former selves cheering him on in admiration that he did the right thing, while they are all still Arthur Flecks, he is the Joker. Recognising this, he uses his own blood from the crash to paint a literal blood-red smile, a sign of what is to come as he will be laughing when blood spills, even if it is his own.
In his mind, he is a messiah of blood, here to kill those who he deems unfit to live. Of course, this notion morphs into an attitude where anyone can and should be killed, and to him, these are jokes; we even hear him laughing as this scene fades to black. It seems that death is the usual punchline.
Again, thanks to Keith for opening my eyes a little regarding this absolute gem of a film. Hollywood needs to create more flicks of this quality.
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