Confused about the ending of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker? Director Todd Phillips (sort of) has answers
Joker’s ending got you confused? Wondering what was real and what wasn’t? Here’s director Todd Phillips with some answersUpdated: Oct 10, 2019 15:53 IST
The recent comic book film Joker ends with the title character saying, “You won’t get it.” He could very well have been speaking to the audience. Fans have expressed confusion about the film’s ending, which Phillips has said in an interview was always meant to be ambiguous.
“There’s a lot of ways you could look at this movie,” Phillips told The Los Angeles Times. “You could look at it and go, ‘This is just one of his multiple-choice stories. None of it happened.’ I don’t want to say what it is. But a lot of people I’ve shown it to have said, ‘Oh, I get it — he’s just made up a story. The whole movie is the joke. It’s this thing this guy in Arkham Asylum concocted. He might not even be the Joker.’ ”
Several fan theories have found their way online, with many wondering if Phoenix is even playing the Joker at all. In the film, the three-time Oscar nominee plays a mentally ill loner called Arthur Fleck. After a series of unfortunate events, Arthur turns to a life of crime.
Phillips said, “Maybe Joaquin’s character inspired the Joker. You don’t really know. His last line in the movie is, ‘You wouldn’t get it.’ There’s a lot going on in there that’s interesting.” Phoenix added, “This movie requires a certain amount of participation from the audience. It’s up to you how you want to interpret it and experience it. It’s less you being kind of presented with the facts than you being presented with these possibilities.”
Joker has been inspired by Martin Scorsese’s classics Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, two films whose endings remain hotly debated even decades after their release. The film has defied divisive critical reaction and broken the October box office opening record in the US. Joker has made over $250 million worldwide and over Rs 30 crore in India.
While both Phillips and Phoenix had previously denied their interest in sequels, the actor in a recent interview said that there are endless possibilities for the character’s future. Phillips, meanwhile, was quick to deny a popular fan request. There is no way Joker will face-off with Batman. “We would never do that,” he said. “No, no. We’d just want to see where he goes from there.”
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