Joker: Arthur Fleck is at the centre of a political scheme. Dialogue version. (1000 words)
I think that the easiest way I could make my point here is by writing a dialogue between a politician and an advisor. Arius is running for mayor against Thomas Wayne. His advisor, Sully, has good news.
Sully: Boss, guess what we’ve found out.
Arius: What ? He likes to have sex with prostitutes disguised as elephants ?
Sully: No. He’s had a child with the maid.
Arius: What !?! When ?
Sully: Something like fourty years ago. The kid’s named Arthur Fleck, he lives in the […] district with his mother. Works as a clown.
Arius: My god, that’s unhoped for…
Sully: What do we do ? Do I call the press ? Will you say something about it on Friday ?
Arius: No… no… it’s too precious an opportunity not to use it at its full potential. Does he have a job ?
Sully: He’s a clown, I told you. Also, he regularly sees a social worker for psychological support. He’s constantly under medication, he suffers from several mental disorders. The mother’s a lunatic too.
Arius: Wayne is trying to keep them under the radar. A crazy clown. That’s perfect.
Sully: So… what do we do ?
Arius: Have him assaulted.
Sully: I don’t think Wayne will give a shit.
Arius: That’s not the point. The point is to have this hidden son of his blow a fuse and make the front page. Give him a gun too. You have him attacked and beaten to a pulp, then you find a way to have him find a gun and then you have him attacked again.
Sully: Ah ok, so that he ends up killing somebody and people learn about Thomas Wayne’s shameful hidden psychopathic son that he’s been trying to hide for decades in the press… that’s a very nice plan. And the best part is that if it doesn’t work, we have nothing to lose.
Later on, after Arthur has killed the three men in the metro.
Sully: He killed three guys and people like him.
Arius: That’s really unfortunate. If we reveal his identity right now it might benefit Wayne. How crazy is that, the guy’s hidden son is a killer and that could fucking help him win the elections. We need to make a killer look bad.
Sully: It’s not that hard. He’s attempted to start a career as a stand-up comedian. He’s weird as fuck and as funny as a feminist. We simply need to have him appear on Murray Franklin’s show and he’ll be done for.
Arius: With any luck he could confess that he is Wayne’s son on TV. We’ll have to make him particularly desperate on the day of the show.
Sully: I’d like to see Wayne survive that. We could pressure him... make him believe that the cops know it's him.
Arius: Send his co-worker...
Sully: Randall ?
Arius: I don't give a shit about his name. Send Randall at his place tell him that the cops came to the clown agency.
Sully: Also, Arthur’s found a girlfriend. Single mother, prostitute, miserable. I’m sure she’d be ready to ditch him for fifty bucks.
Arius: Didn’t you tell me that the guy was medicated for psychological disorders ?
Arius: Ask her to suddenly pretend that she doesn’t know him. I don't care how much she asks. Threaten the kid if you have to.
Sully: That is so fucked up… and it’s so going to work. The guy is exactly the kind who’s going to immediately buy into it.
After Arthur’s killed Murray Franklin.
Sully: I don’t know what to say at this point boss. People are still celebrating him. There’s no way we could possibly know what’s going to happen if we reveal the truth.
Arius: Don’t. We’re passed that point now. Ask Billy to wear a clown mask, free him near the thirty second street and kill Wayne. He’s at the theatre with his wife and kid. The movie ends in one hour.
Sully: What !?
Sully: Can’t you see this is a far better opportunity than anything we’ve had before !?! The streets are flooded with idiots wearing clown masks who want to kill the rich. They see this moron as their leader and this leader happens to be the hidden son of Thomas Wayne. It’s time to end this fucking farce. Have Bill crash a truck into the police car Terminator style, free Fleck and kill Wayne.
A few more elements (beyond the simple coherence) that supports this version of the story:
Murray Franklin invites Joker to his show, but doesn’t remember him. That’s very suspicious.
Arthur is supposed to have imagined Sophie, and he might have on a few occasions, but when they make love, he joins her at her apartment. If she is a hallucination, she is in his head, she is always around. The fact that he should have to move to where she is spontaneously suggests that she truly is there. For example, Arthur would have imagined that she knocked on his door.
More, when he goes to her apartment and she doesn’t recognise him, she should have found him talking to her imaginary self. If Arthur Fleck is capable of going to her place because he needs to see her, realise that she isn’t there and wait for her, then it means he never needed to imagine her presence in the first place and she truly was there.
Randall giving a gun to Arthur makes no sense. Also, when he comes to his place and pretends that the cops passed by the agency, Gary is surprised by the claim. The cops never came to the agency. Randall is following instructions.
I do not own the movie so I can’t really be precise here but it seems that the cops’ investigation is pretty weak. They could arrest Arthur immediately and never do. It’s probable that they are following Wayne’s orders, and they’re the reason for Arthur’s mother’s cerebrovascular incident.
That’s the dynamic of the movie. On the one hand a group of powerful people are trying to bring Arthur to mental collapse while on the other, Thomas Wayne is trying to prevent Arthur from harming anybody or getting arrested.
And Arthur finds himself in the middle of this arm-wrestling competition and he’s trying all he can to force Wayne to admit that he is his son.
Arthur becomes evil when he decides to give people what they want in order to become more popular. The discourse he throws at Murray Franklin is a lie, he doesn’t care.
And at the end of the movie, he is put in an asylum when he isn’t mentally disordered. He’s just a very smart cold blooded killer.