Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there? Joaquin Phoenix's proto-Joker Arthur Fleck asks his psychologist in the new Joker movie. The real answer is both. Fleck is a man losing his grip on sanity, but the world out there is a powder keg of
lawlessness, inequality, corruption, cuts and all-round despair. Joker's story is set around the early 1980s, but it consciously chimes with our own increasingly crazy present. These are tough times, the psychologist acknowledges. She might as well turn
and wink to the camera.
It's no surprise that 2019's Joker -- while set to be a triumph, critically and commercially -- has raised concerns over its narrative. An early, leaked version of the script, plus the portrayal of Phoenix's character as a sad young man losing his grip
on sanity (mental health problems, past trauma, failing comedy career, loneliness) has led to the film being aligned with so-called incel culture (involuntarily celibate men who are angry and misogynistic).
Joker is a 2019 USA crime thriller by Todd Phillips.
Starring Robert De Niro, Joaquin Phoenix and Marc Maron.
Joker centers around an origin of the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Todd Phillips' exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character
study, but also a broader cautionary tale.
While speaking at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, Joker director Todd Phillips explained that there were a few scenes that he had to cut, the most notable of which was a scene had Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck doing something bizarre while inside a
Phillips suggested that the scene that was removed is not sexually explicit in nature, but is simply too bizarre for a standard R-rated movie to handle. He spoke in vague terms at the film festival:
So the other thing that's great about Joaquin is that he's always up to try things -- the fridge was one of those. It wasn't in the script it was something that Joaquin just kind of did and there was a few others, there's only one other that's in the
movie and it's when he's laughing after he goes to [Zazie Beetz's] apartment and he comes back down the hall and he's laughing alone in that living room, that was another one...
There were two or three others we shot, one that is amazing in a bathtub, but I don't think we can actually include it in an R-rated movie and it's not because it was pornographic, it was just insane.