Do you know how you can tell if a movie or TV show has truly captured the viewing public’s attention? Just go online and count the number of fan theories the film or series produces.
Among the titles which have generated the most fan theories over the past few years are the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, The Haunting of Hill House, Friends, Star Wars, and Joker.
Big moneymakers all.
It’s that last one, Joker, that’s got our attention today thanks to Reddit user ComradeCarly, who offered up a fan theory this week that could completely change how you view the movie.
Ready? You are not.
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I keep hearing talk about how, “Arthur isn’t the real Joker, but he inspired Joker.” What if it’s actually the other way around?
We know that Arthur inserts himself into fantasies, such as his relationship with Penny and his KING OF COMEDY moment. What if he (off screen) saw the news story about the finance guys getting killed first and THEN imagined himself as the killer. This train of thought all started from the ‘eight bullets in the six-shooter’ problem: I think he imagines himself doing it but, not knowing anything about firearms, imagines the moment impossibly. HOWEVER, I think the rest of his evolution really happened.
I’m wondering if it’s all an exploration of how some murderers (mass shooters in particular) are influenced: in rare instances by a historical/political figure or fictional character (let’s not forget that plenty of critics feared this film for that very reason, which I personally thought was ridiculous). I think it’s possible that the real joker is afoot and that Arthur simply emulates him, maybe even believes that he is him. In the end, whatever his influences are, Arthur becomes a real killer when he murders Penny, Randall, and Murray.
Todd Phillips even admitted that perhaps Arthur isn’t the real joker, and when Joaquin Phoenix was asked his opinion by the LA Times, he replied that “he does personally believe that Fleck is the actual Joker. ‘But I don’t know,’ he adds with a wry smile. ‘IT’S JUST MY OPINION.’” (I added the emphasis.) A hint perhaps? Personally, I think that these two admissions put-together work well with my half-baked theory. And in an interesting way, it turns the film into an EVEN MORE meta and specific cautionary tale.
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I know, right?
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