08 Feb 2021 2:40 PM +00:00 UTC

Quentin Tarantino Explains Why Joker's Climax Works So Well

Oscar-winning director Quentin Tarantino recently shared some praise for Todd Phillips' 2019 film Joker, and explains why the climax scene with Robert De Niro was brilliantly done.

click to enlarge
Credit: Warner Bros.

In a recent episode of Empire Film's Podcast, Tarantino expained why the talk show scene close to the end of Joker was a great example of audience manipulation.

Advertisement
Subversion on a massive level, audience response, cause and effect on the screen, feeling the atmosphere in the theater change; getting to where you are going, as far as a movie's concerned. We've talked about all these things. [However], the talk show sequence in the Joker encompasses all of these things on a profound level, a level that I think is over most viewers' heads, to tell you the truth… [When] you get to the talk show scene, the entire atmosphere in the theater changes. It's not suspense, it's beyond suspense. [Moviegoers] are riveted. Everybody is completely plugged in… The subversion on a massive level, the thing that's profound is this. It's not just suspenseful. It's not just riveting and exciting.

The Hollywood icon went on to praise Todd Phillips' direction of Joker and the movie's ability to subvert expectations of the audience.

The director subverts the audience because the Joker is a fucking nut. The guy's a fucking nut. Robert De Niro's talk show character is not a movie villain. He seems like an asshole, but he's not any more of an asshole than David Letterman. He's just an asshole, comedian, talk show guy. He's not a movie villain. He doesn't deserve to die. He's just an asshole, and people like asshole comedians. Yet, while the audience in the movie theater is watching the Joker, they want him to kill Robert De Niro. They want him to take that gun, and stick it in his eye and blow the back of his fucking head off. And if the Joker didn't kill him? You would be pissed off. That is subversion on a massive level! They got the audience to think like a fucking lunatic and to want something that they would never... And they will lie about it! [Audiences] will say, ‘No, I didn't [want Joker to kill a man]!' And they are fucking liars. They fucking did.

When you get some high praise from a profound director like Tarantino, you know that you've done something great. Tatantino suggests that the film's ability to make audiences think like Arthur Fleck is exactly what makes the climax scene of Joker so fascinating. Although most viewers would not admit it, they are thinking like the Joker himself by the end of the film.

Read More:Official Synopsis For James Gunn's The Suicide Squad Reveals A '70s War-Style Movie

Todd Philipps' critically acclaimed film film earned 11 Oscar nominations, winning two, including Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix. Joker is also now the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time. Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood also took home some Oscars last year including a Best Supporting Actor win for Brad Pitt. It's nice to see an iconic filmmaker share his praise to another even though both of their films neither won Best Picture (Parasite won that category).

What do you think about the talk show scene in Joker? Do you agree with Tarantino's thoughts about it?