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|“||My mother always told me I had a purpose, which is to bring laughter and joy to the world. She always told me to put on a happy face.||„|
|“||I used to think my life was a tragedy. But now, I realize, it's a f***ing comedy.||„|
|~ Arthur accepting himself as Joker.|
|“||You don't listen, do you? You always ask the same questions; how's life? How's work? Do you have negative thoughts? But, all I have are negative thoughts... but, is it just me or it's getting crazier out there?||„|
|~ Arthur expressing his emotions to his social worker in Arkham.|
|“||Better the blind man who pisses out the window than the joker who told him it was a urinal. Know who the Joker is? It's everybody.||„|
|~ Arthur leaving the Joker alias behind him.|
Arthur Fleck, later known as the Joker, is the titular protagonist villain of the 2019 psychological comic book thriller-film of the same name, which is the first installment of the newly launched DC Black film series, which is entirely separate from the DC Extended Universe.
He is a mentally unstable failed comedian who, following his great lack of success, loses his sanity until he becomes a social anarchistic, nihilistic and psychopathic mastermind known as the "Joker", aiming himself to create an anarchistic mutiny against the rich population of Gotham City and make Gotham smile in his own way.
The man who would later be known as the Joker was born in Gotham City as Arthur Fleck, the estranged son of Thomas Wayne, Penny Fleck and another father. When he was raised by his mother and her boyfriend, they were abusing him physically and mentally brutally until a neurological condition was created in him, and caused him to develop an uncontrollable laughter in unsuitable moments until he would nearly choked up.
Arthur was also the son of Thomas Wayne ,following an ongoing yet short-lived affair of his with his mother Penny while she was working as a housetaker in Wayne Manor, thus, making him the brother of Bruce Wayne.
As he became an adult, in 1981, he often learnt how to control his laughter problem with the help of a therapist and a social worker in Arkham Hospital in order to obtain medications to help himself handle the problem and later his depression, dissociative personality disorder and psychopathy.
Ever since that he was younger, Arthur sought to become an infamously popular comedian worldwide so he can bring laughter and joy to the world, which his mother raised him to believe in, and, even kept his true family lines as secrets for him.
In order to achieve his life goal, Arthur had taken the job of an advertising clown for a talent agency, so he can use the future salary he would get in order to help his mother to heal from her illnesses and to help himself.
Despite this, when he was on duty as the clown, holding the agency's sign in front of the goers of Gotham, a group of teenagers had stolen the sign, causing him to chase them into an alley where they broke the sign on him and beaten him violently, leaving him broken, sad and mad, increasing his fragile sanity problems.
Arthur, alongside his mother, as like many residents in Gotham and in the US, are fans of the Murray Franklin Show, a late night talk show led by Franklin himself. Arthur came to be an audience in the show, where he told everyone of his dream and of his mother.
Despite his failures and despite his attempts to take care of his mother in their shared small rotten apartment in Gotham, Arthur was finding some joy in following after the banker and the single-mother Sophie Dumond, a young beautiful cynical woman.
He imagined himself being with her despite she had a boyfriend already, but they did went out for a coffee in a local diner.
As the clown in his work, he had done working late at night, and, later went on a subway to his home. In the subway, he was watching how a young woman is harassed by three businessmen from Wall Street. Seeking to save her, he burst out in his uncontrollable laughter.
Taking the attention of the businessmen, the woman was saved but Arthur was beaten and bullied violently by them, until he carried out his gun which was loaned for him by his associate so he can protect himself. He used the gun to kill all of the three businessmen and later escaped terrified, despite he indeed loved killing them.
The triple murder kickstarted the rise of a social anarchistic movement known as The Clowns, which cause massively destructive riots against the rich and the powerful population, doing riots even in Thomas Wayne's speech of becoming a mayor for Gotham (only for his plan to get rid off the poor and to destroy their homes).
Returning home, Arthur took a short shower, and his mother was watching Franklin's show in TV, whilst Arthur's mental health was further degraded, as he was writing jokes in his notebook and later when his mother was asleep, he was hiding in their fridge.
After coming out, he was dancing to a music show in TV while holding his gun, until his mother had an illness episode, rushing her to the hospital.
In the hospital, Arthur was afraid of losing his mother, but on the TV, he saw that a video of his performing in a stand-up bar was shown in Franklin's show.
In the video, Arthur's pathological laughter was shown during the stand-up performance, which Franklin used to humiliate Fleck in live, driving him mad.
Penny later woke up, and, accidentally told Arthur of his true parentage, as well as her early life with Wayne. The thing caused Arthur to melt down in anger and tears, until he used a pillow to kill his mother by suffocation.
Upon the serial murders he committed, Arthur flees away to his home, where he was investigated by two GCPD detectives. He denied anything he done, and, later went to Arkham, where he learnt that what his mother told him was true.
Taking his parentage to the Wayne Manor, Arthur later met his estranged brother, Bruce, and met Alfred Pennyworth before meeting Thomas, his own biological father. Thomas later shown his furious denial toward Arthur, driving him to laughter until Thomas punched him in the face to faint.
The Rise of The Joker
Arthur wakes up in his own home, where he is discussing with two former friends of his about the recent events. They thank him, however, he later brutally kills one of them using a knife and by bashing his head several times in the wall.
Covered in blood much to the horror of the other, Arthur later announced that he is no longer what he was, unleashing The Joker alias he created, completely.
In his restroom, he dyes his long hair in bright green, and, puts on a clown makeup on his face before donning a luxury clown-like suit and shoes he had kept in secret, before leaving home to dance on the stairways, now fully as Joker.
Send in The Clowns
The two GCPD detectives see him dancing as Joker on the stairways, until he stops and sees them. He escapes by running into the subway but not before he is hit by a taxi.
In the subway, for his luck, a riot of the Clowns movement was occurring, and, he used it to hide and escape before being invited to Franklin's show.
When he was preparing for his performance in the show, he would be thinking of committing suicide in live ,but after achieving so much love from the Clowns, he abandons it and his purpose of bringing laughter and joy to the world, aiming himself toward the Clowns' ongoing mutiny.
In Franklin's show, he is dancing, before he discusses with his beloved TV idol on himself. Franklin later taunts him for what he done, driving Joker insane until he uses his gun to kill Franklin in front of a horrified audience while he laughs crazily.
Upon leaving the show studio, he is arrested by the GCPD, and, while driving to the station, he sees massively destructive series of riots of the Clowns all over the town. In someway, he is rescued by the Clowns after they crash land an ambulance into Joker and the GCPD car.
Despite being injured, he is smiling evilly, now completely accepting what he has become and becomes the popular leader of the Clowns, achieving his goal of making Gotham smiling via anarchy.
During the massive riots, the Joker sends out a group of Clowns to Wayne Manor, where, on his behest, they are assassinating the lives of Thomas and Martha Wayne, much to Bruce's horror.
Upon succeeding in everything he had ever wanted to achieve despite failing to bring laughter and joy, Arthur takes off his Joker alias from him, and returns to Arkham's jail division, as his shoes are drained in blood, celebrating his glorious victory with laughter.
Arthur Fleck is a 40-year-old long-black brown-haired thin, pale and skinny man with no muscles nor fat. He was often wearing a leather jacket, or jeans pants and even a grey button shirt.
As Joker, he would put on clown-like luxury red, orange, yellow and brown bright suit and shoes, and, dyed his hair in bright green with painting his face with clown makeup, drawing tear-like blue eye lashes around his eyes, while his mouth was drawn in bright red like a big evil or sad smile.
Ever since that he was born, Arthur Fleck always wanted to bring laughter and joy to the entire world, aiming to do so by becoming an infamous comedian. However, he was often physically and mentally abused by his mother and her boyfriend due to being the estranged son of a billionaire, something Arthur later takes as hatred toward the rich and the powerful.
As a result of being abused, Arthur dives deeply into psychopathy, depression and even dissoactive personality disorder, until he develops pathological laughter created by the abuse.
Despite his mental health, Arthur would have never thinking of giving up on his goal to be a popular comedian, and, when he goes to achieve this goal, he takes the job of a clown for a talent agency. As he was abused again by a group of teenagers, Arthur was recalling how he was eating trash from the society.
Hence, Arthur's fragile sanity began to be broken, and, he was still not giving up and found somewhat of joy in his mother and in Sophie Dumond, until, he was watching how he is humiliated by society again, this time by his beloved TV idol Murray Franklin.
With using the subway to return home, Arthur once again fell down into the rich society's dirty hands when he was saving a young woman from being harassed by 3 businessmen. Using his laughter issue to harass him, Arthur would later carry out his weapon to kill them off, and, he was falling in love with it, further becoming a psychopath despite being terrified.
Developing an obsession of loving Sophie, he was stalking her and even came out to a date with her in a diner, even though he was picturing a series of their meetings. As he was returning home, he would dive deeply further into his insanity by entering into the fridge after writing some bad jokes. Feeling uncomfortable with how the world treats him, Arthur later saw how the Clowns movement takes all of its rage against the rich population, and he would love to see their anarchistic riots.
Broken, sad and depressed Arthur always loved taking care of his mother, until she was telling him his true origins, in which he would unleash the monster he would become against her, doing so in great sadness and pain. Upon meeting his estranged father, Arthur was in denial of how his father was denying his existence, yet shown joy with meeting Bruce Wayne, his estranged brother.
Ruling out as a bad boy of the society, Arthur was banished from his true home to his filthy small home, where he unleashed the Joker into the light by killing a former friend of his, loving it so much until he became the clown anarchist he is.
As Joker; Arthur loved being completely freed from his depressed life he used to have, liking to think that his life is a comedy now rather than a tragedy, and, he later developed himself to become the leader of the Clowns after killing his TV idol in front of a horrified crowd, yet, he was already inside of his insanity, so he burst out in a crazy laughter.
When he was rescued from the hands of the police, something the society would bring toward him to mistreat him, by the Clowns, he was fully accepted as their leader. With doing so, he was allowing the ultimate dark, psychopathic ,murderous and nihilistic criminally insane Joker to come out into the great light, and managed to achieve one goal; to being beloved by society in his lowest points and to make Gotham smile.
Despite this, Arthur had kept the Joker persona in secret, and returned to his true home; Arkham Hospital, in great laughter, celebrating his victory with his foot drained in blood.
Powers And Abilities
Arthur has no superhuman special powers, from the reason he is a human being like everyone around him, yet he indeed had variety of abilities such as;
- Very High Intelligence: Arthur was endowed with exceptional intelligence, so wise and sophisticated that even though he did not knew how to handle the Clowns anarchy around him, he used his intelligence to outsmart the detectives investigating him and mastered his skill of carrying out anarchistic actions.
|“||The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don't.||„|
|~ Arthur in his notebook.|
|“||I'll tell you what you get! What you f***ing deserve!||„|
|~ Joker before killing Franklin.|
- Joaquin Phoenix prepared for the Joker so intense he would lose 50 pounds of his normalized body weight, even not eating or drinking for long time periods.
- In order to find the "perfect laughter", Phoenix was watching and attempting to copy people with pathological laughter disorder. This disorder is shown in the film.
- Joaquin Phoenix is the sixth actor to portray the Joker ,and, he is the third adult actor to do so in age 44, alongside Jared Leto who was portraying Joker also in age 44.
- This incarnation of the Joker, as well as the film itself, has been well received by both critics and comic book fans, despite initial skepticism on the film's success considering the uneven reception that films on the DC Extended Universe have met as of currently. Some have going as far to suggest that Joaquin Phoenix's performance of the Joker has outranked the legendary portrayal of the late Heath Ledger from The Dark Knight, which is regarded as the best Joker in film.
- Despite the critical acclaim Joker has received, this incarnation of the Joker has received much controversy following allegations of possible attempted massacres following the shooting orchestrated by James Holmes which took place in a theater of Aurora, Colorado back in 2012 during the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. When found by the police, Holmes supposedly identified himself as "The Joker". As a result, Warner Bros. has increased the security measures for screenings of the film, which will not be played on such Aurora theater.
- On an unrelated note, the announcement of Joaquin Phoenix's Joker was likewise not well received by Jared Leto, who plays the Joker in the DC Extended Universe since Suicide Squad. Reportedly, Leto was displeased with the existence of multiple different contemporary Joker characters. Ironically, Leto's portrayal of the Joker is considered the most negatively received.
- Leonardo DiCaprio, who also portrayed Calvin Candie in Django Unchained, King Louis XIV in The Iron Mask and Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby, was originally approached by Warner Bros. to play the Joker, but Joaquin Phoenix was cast instead. According to director Todd Phillips, Phoenix was his only choice for the role. On the other hand, Phoenix accepted the role because it was the kind of comic book film he wanted to make and because he would not have to appear in sequels as the film is intended to be stand-alone.
- This is the second Joker that replaces Joe Chill as the man responsable for the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, the first being the Joker from the 1989 movie.
- This is the third Joker whose real name is revealed to the audience, after the 1989 Joker (Jack Napier) and the Gotham Joker (Jeremiah Valeska).