2019 saw one of the darkest films in a long time in the form of Todd Phillips’ Joker. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, the character of Arthur still remains a debatable topic. While some loves to justify him, others criticise his deeds in the film. There’s a bunch of scenes which potentially divides viewers into two extreme poles and one such is Robert De Niro’s Murray Franklin’s murder.
Speaking of the scene, Murray is shot dead by Arthur on live television. The maverick filmmaker Quentin Tarantino says that particular scene in Joker had the power to change viewers’ thinking and it took everyone by Arthur’s side.
While speaking to director Edgar Wright on a special episode of the Empire Podcast, Quentin Tarantino said, “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 director subverts the audience because the Joker is a f**king nut. Robert De Niro’s talk show character is not a movie villain. He seems like an a**hole, but he’s not more of an a**hole than David Letterman. He’s just an a**hole comedian, talk show guy.”
Speaking of Robert De Niro’s Murray Franklin, Quentin Tarantino said, “He’s not a movie villain. He doesn’t deserve to die. Yet, while the audience 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 his f**king 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 f**king lunatic and to want (Arthur to kill Murray). And they will lie about it! They will say, ‘no, I didn’t (want it to happen)!,’ and they are f**king liars. They did.”
Applauded on both critical and commercial front, Joker made a business of over $1 billion globally and holds the record of being the highest-rated R grosser.