Joker Teaser Analysis
I planned this month to have two posts: one talking about the MCU's villains past and a second reviewing Avengers: Endgame. Then the trailer for "Joker" came out and I had some thoughts about it. Will it be good? Can Joaquin Phoenix outdo Jared Leto's performance? We can wait patiently for October, OR, we can nitpick teasers and play "future teller". Usually I like to do all that with Star Wars, but since Star Wars IX is rightfully still hiding in its shell after two horrible appearances (And has yet to debunk my predictions), I guess "Joker" will have to do.
Let me just say right now that if you pronounced Joaquin how it's spelled, it sounds like "joking", which I think is kinda cool.
I had no interest in a Joker origin story, because as explained by The Dark Knight, he doesn't have one. The Joker didn't originate, he was created as an inverse to Batman; the way a pendulum swings both ways. But the trailer is interesting and it could be good, so why not. My point is that I will be talking about this movie at my current interest level, which is not a lot, until the trailer came out.
Joker: A DC Extended Universe, but hopefully it'll kick off a new universe unconnected to the current Universe that is still ongoing story is about a man named Arthur fleck, A man who dresses up like a clown and gets beat up. It is hinted that he goes on a rampage and becomes a psychopath killer, but that is yet to be seen.
Already it looks like the movie is playing off the themes of the infamous graphic novel, "The Killing Joke", in which "One bad day" broke a man down on his luck and then rose out of the acid reborn the Joker. You know, like a phoenix; a "Joking Phoenix"! In "The Killing Joke", the Joker-to-be has a loving wife. Here, Arthur Fleck has a loving mom.
I think there is going to be a central theme to this movie about mental illness, and the debate of how whether a serial killer is born mentally ill or is shaped that way by society. I think I have an idea where this movie is going in that area, so it's time to get theoretical... and theorize...
In the trailer Arthur Fleck has several odd jobs: a sign twirler, a regular clown, and possibly also a comedian. These are all notable jobs for being on your own, which also reflects the trailer showing shot after shot of him being the only one on camera.
Arthur comes home to care for his single mother, which IMDB names "Penny" (Get it? like Pennywise the clown? Like how It part 2 is coming out this year, too!? so clever!!!). I am under the impression that she is mentally ill, possibly with bipolar or something serious like that. Arthur bathes his mom and dances with her after home movie night.
One of the first shots of the trailer is him talking to a social worker named Debra Kane (not Harlene Quinzel), and I'd imagine it has to do with Arthur trying to deal with his mom getting worse and asking a social worker for advice
Her condition gets Worse. So bad, I bet she gets admitted to Arkham State Hospital. We see Arthur going there, presumably to visit his mother who is getting some experimental treatment. And he visits her so much, he's used to sharing the elevator with other patients,
It would appear that he gets the call that she died right before a performance of some kind. you see him shaking, suppressing his emotions.
Wayne Hall hosts a gala, featuring giant banners of Charlie Chaplin. I'm guessing that the Waynes bring in clown performers, including Fleck, even though we are later seen that he gets kicked out. Maybe it's that performance I just mentioned, and he breaks down and lashes out and gets the boot.
As is typical, the Waynes are probably using the gala to announce a big development, like a skyrail, or closing Arkham State Hospital because of malpractice. We see a protest outside the hall, guarded by horsey police. The protesters are clowns in cheapo clown masks with posters of anti-capitalism and 1% stuff.
My alternate prediction is closer to how things worked out in "The Killing Joke". Fleck, down on his luck, possibly because of his mother's health care bills (which ties into the protesters) gets roped into a criminal plot, and in this movie, I think it's a plot to assassinate the Waynes at the gala. Maybe he's supposed to go in the guise of a clown...
I don't think either scenario is likely, since he's in a different outfit when he falls down the stairs, and when he escapes through a large crowd of clown protesters in the subway. The latter outfit is eerily similar to the Joker's outfit on the cover of The Killing Joke.
The way to make it work is that the protest outside Wayne Hall is unrelated to Fleck's descent. maybe he tries to warn the guards, but they just push him off. Later, after the Joker's descent into madness, he organizes the clown protesters to cover for a plan of his own. Possibly something to do with this scene:
We see him ditch the cheapo mask, escaping the police in the subway right after some TV guy talks about "Someone who hides behind a mask" on his show, Good Morning Gotham or something. I have a feeling he takes insult to that and decides to dye his hair green and "become the mask" and pay a little visit to the show.
If he does, this may take after the Joker's scheme in The Dark Knight Returns, which shares the theme of mental illness and treament. In that story, a doctor claims to have rehabilitated the Joker and brought him on a late night show to share "his story" with the public. Instead, he uses the opportunity to..."break" his hiatus.
I'm sure there are more scenes and stuff, but that's what I got from the teaser trailer. Maybe on the same theme of mental illness, Arthur Fleck is admitted to the same place his mother was, and he sees the irony and does a crazy laugh. The end. Not bad, right? But I do have some predictions, though, that I wanted to share, and my crazy idea for a way cooler ending.
1) I really hope that Bruce Wayne is a kid, as people are guessing, and we see no Batman in this movie.
2) I really hope the upcoming "The Batman" movie is not connected to this movie. Maybe they'll square off in the Batman movie after that.
3) It looks like we won't be seeing a Red Hood Gang. Instead we have a posse of insane clowns or something.
4) Other folks who we won't be seeing: Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock, the Cobblepots, or any superhero or notable Batman villain. It's unlikely that we'll see Bruce Wayne fall in a pit of bats, or Bruce's parents get killed. I also doubt some of the chronologically older villains that were around before the Batman, like the Black Mask or Carmine Falconi will be around. What would be cool is if we see Bruce Wayne playing with his friend Tommy Elliot. Maybe even Tommy's dad worked in the same hospital as Joker's mom!
5) This one is really crazy, but I do wonder about why DC would give a greenlight to the origin of the Joker, a character notorious for not having one. So I'm thinking that at the very end of the movie, or even in a post-credit scene, Arthur Fleck is found dead, with some message about him being an "imposter" on a joker playing card or something. The guy we've been following the WHOLE MOVIE was a joke on US, where we thought this bozo is the Joker when he really is just some sad clown!
(Or maybe they'll keep that scene in reserve in case the audience is upset, like they did with the Mandarin in Iron Man 3.)
They can keep Fleck's death open ended, like maybe he just faked his death because "Fleck is no more" or maybe he really wasn't the actual Joker after all.
Oh! Also, The Joker's suit in this looks a lot like the 60's Joker's suit!