Joker definitely goes its own way with the depiction of the legendary Clown of Prince of Crime, right up to its explosive and unforgettable climax. Now that everyone's had a chance to see the film, it's time to talk about what it all built to and how it all paid off. Spoilers ahead for the entire film!
The whole of Joker is about the transformation of Arthur Fleck from downtrodden, beat-up loser to hero in his own mind sometimes literally in his own mind. The last time we see Arthur he's walking out of an interview room in Arkham State Hospital, fresh off the triumph of the night he shot Murray Franklin and became the figurehead of an entire riotous movement.
We see Arthur leave bloody footprints as he dances down the hall, and then we see an orderly chasing him down the corridors, suggesting a violent escape might be in order for the newly minted Clown Prince of Crime. The film makes it clear several times that Arthur Fleck is a man who has no trouble losing himself in elaborate fantasies, but the question of what's fact or fantasy doesn't actually change the outcome for Arthur Fleck — by the end of Joker, whether he's escaping to a new life of crime or caught in a delusion, it's clear that he's long since passed the point of no return.
One of the most important structural aspects of Joker is just how small Arthur's inner circle is. He has his mother, of course, and he seemingly has friends at the clown company until they begin to turn on him, but apart from them the only major presence left is Sophie, his neighbor who we actually know less about than some parts of the film would have us believe.
In Arthur's mind, Sophie is his girlfriend, at least until she isn't. In Sophie's mind, Arthur is just the slightly strange neighbor she and her daughter ride the elevator with sometimes. When he walks into her apartment uninvited and we discover his fantasy life with her, she is clearly scared but also eager to defuse the situation. So, what becomes of Sophie? Keep watching the video to see the ending of Joker explained!
#Joker #JokerMovie #EndingExplained
Arthur Fleck's future | 0:16
Sophie's choice | 1:07
Send in the clowns | 1:56
Thomas Wayne's secrets | 2:48
The future of Bruce | 3:34
Fantasy world | 4:16
Jokes to come | 5:06