SPOILERS for Joker ... as if you haven't seen it already
Joker has made more than a billion dollars, making it the most successful R-rated movie in history -- that is, until James Cameron decides to pepper his Avatar sequels with intense cat-person dreadlock penetration. You're likely familiar with the big twist that occurs midway through the story: Protagonist Arthur Fleck's neighbor and love interest, Sophie, turns out to be like so many girlfriends up in Canada. Those scenes in which we saw the pair hanging out were all in Arthur's head. He was actually alone, talking to himself!
The delusion is shattered when Sophie catches Arthur in her apartment and she's clearly freaked out. Then the movie abruptly cuts away to something else, and we never see her again. This creates the disturbing implication that Arthur hurt or possibly even murdered Sophie. Which is a big deal, because up until this point he's only shot a few violent stockbrokers (which most Gothamites seem pleased as punch about for some reason). Bumping off the single mother from down the hall would catapult him into supervillainy somewhat prematurely. Which is a problem, because that's what a lot of viewers assumed happened.
Now director Todd Phillips has cleared this all up, insisting that "of course" Arthur didn't kill Sophie. In fact, there was originally a scene at the end in which a not-dead Sophie is seen watching Arthur on TV, but it was ultimately cut. Which seems like a pretty huge omission. Yes, that shot would have diverted from Arthur's POV, but the final version leaves her fate in an ominously ambiguous place, which clearly wasn't the intention. Complicating matters further is the theory that the girlfriend delusion was in fact a delusion within a larger delusion, like a Russian nesting doll of stale plot devices.
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