"Joker" director Todd Phillips says there are many ways to interpret the movie, adding that the audience will not walk away from the theatres with all the answers.
"Well, an unreliable narrator is almost not even big enough, because he's an unreliable narrator and he's Joker. You have an intense amount of freedom with an unreliable narrator, and you have even more freedom when he's Joker," Phillips said while talking about the beauty of having an unreliable narrator as a protagonist.
"He says in the comic book Batman: The Killing Joke, 'If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice'. So, it just depends on the lens through which you watch the movie as to what you think really happened, what you think he is at the end — is the even Joker? There are many ways to see it and what I think is interesting about the movie is that you don't walk away having all the answers. Different people I've shown it to have different theories about what may or may not have happened," he added.
"Joker" is based on the popular DC supervillain of the same name. It follows the life of Arthur Fleck (essayed by Joaquin Phoenix) as an aspiring stand-up comedian and his transition into becoming the Joker. Fleck will be seen as a man struggling to find his way in Gotham's fractured society. The film will be released in India by Warner Bros. Pictures on October 2.
Talking about the film, Phillips said: "For us, because of the version of the story we were telling, we tried to make everything — as weird as it sounds — make sense. For instance, part of the reason he is a clown is that we thought, 'Why would he put this make-up on when he does eventually become Joker? Why does he even have this make-up? Oh, I know. What if he's a clown in real life?' That led to, 'Well, why is he a clown?' Because his mother always told him he had to bring laughter and joy to the world. Our answers to our own questions began to blend together to become a story."
According to Phillips, the film explores the theme of empathy.
"One of the things we wanted to explore with the movie is empathy and, more importantly, the lack of empathy that is present in so much of our world. That's one of the things that we found interesting, and we kind of leave it up to the audience as to how to view that," he said.