The R-rated definitive origin story of the Joker in the recent DC film by Todd Phillips has been praised as the best character study film, especially coming from the comic book movie genre. Many aspects from the movie are still a topic of conversation and continue to puzzle fans over which was real and not. One such element was Arthur Fleck's pathological laughter.
This article contains spoiler to Joker
Joaquin Phoenix's uncontrollable laughing in Joker is truly a terrifying and gritty approach. Moreover, the actor had mastered different versions of the crazed laugh which on the film's release, was revealed that the laughter was an incurable disease that Arthur battled since his childhood. The film's mysterious narrative has left many fans questioning what amount of the movie can be considered real and the rest as Arthur's hallucination. During an interview with Empire Magazine, Phillips spoke on that concept and did confirm that there was one instance when Joker's laugh was real rather than just another episode of his chronic laugh.
"There's the laugh that comes from his affliction when he's curled up and in pain, then there's the laugh he does when he wants to fit in and be one of the guys, which is this forced fake laugh. The only time Arthur/Joker really laughs for real in the movie is the very last scene." Several key moments from the film like Fleck's romantic bonding with his next-door neighbor Sophie (Zazie Beetz) and receiving a warm welcome from his idol Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) are revealed to be his hallucination in the nearing third-act.
Largely, its argued by many that the entire film is fiction that takes place in Arthur Fleck's mind. Though obscure, even the director seems to agree to it...to a point. "You could read it that way," Phillips explained to Empire. "I have a firm view on it too, but yeah you certainly could." Joker is in theaters worldwide.