‘Ambiguity’ is a bit of a watch-word when it comes to discourse magnet and box-office phenomenon Joker. There’s that ending, as well as the constant blurring of fantasy and reality which underpins the entire narrative.
However, one of the most discussed aspects of Todd Phillips film is the exact fate of Zazie Beetz’s Sophie, who we last see shortly after Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck has let himself into her apartment, triggering the audience realisation that their odd relationship has taken place inside his own imagination. Well, riddle no more, because Phillip’s has revealed in an interview with Indiewire that he cut a scene which confirmed her fate.
Joker‘s cinematographer, Lawrence Sher, had already put the debate to bed when he revealed that Sophie wasn’t killed, but now Phillips has shed some light on exactly how it was to be made clear that Arthur hadn’t murdered his neighbour, telling Indiewire: “He doesn’t kill her, definitively. As the filmmaker and the writer I am saying he doesn’t kill her. We like the idea that it’s almost like a litmus test for the audience to say, ‘how crazy is he?’ Most people that I’ve spoken to think he didn’t kill her because they understand the idea that he only kills people that did him wrong. She had nothing to do with it. Most people understood that, even as a villain, he was living by a certain code. Of course he didn’t kill this woman down the hall.”
Phillips said that there was to be a cutaway during Fleck’s televised interview with Robert De Niro’s Murray Franklin that would show Sophie watching the events unfold, but he decided to remove the scene because he always wanted the film to be told from Arthur’s point-of-view.
Do you agree that this was the right thing to do? Or would you have liked to have seen a fleck (pun intended) of humanity remain behind the mask? Let us know using the comments below, or head over to our Twitter feed to continue the discussion…
Joker centres around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. The exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale.
Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix (The Sisters Brothers), Robert De Niro (Goodfellas), Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Bill Camp (Red Sparrow), Frances Conroy (American Horror Story), Brett Cullen (Narcos), Glenn Fleshler (Billions), Douglas Hodge (Penny Dreadful), Marc Maron (GLOW), Josh Pais (Motherless Brooklyn), Shea Whigham (Kong: Skull Island), Douglas Hodge (Robin Hood) and Dante Pereira-Olson (You Were Never Really Here).