Easter Eggs You Missed In Joker
- Published: 05 October 2019
- There's a handful of subtle references to films, real-world events, and even the silent art of mime lurking in Joker's grim and gritty Gotham City. If you're still reeling from the violence and drama of Arthur Fleck's tragic journey, keep watching to learn about the little things you might've missed.
If you know one piece of trivia about the Joker, it's probably that he was originally inspired not by the playing card from which he took his name, but by Gwynplaine, the main character of the 1928 silent film The Man Who Laughs.
In the movie, Gwynplaine, played by German actor Conrad Veidt, is a child in the 17th century whose father is killed by rival noblemen. Before they put his father in the Iron Maiden, though, they disfigure his face into a permanent smile, leaving him unable to ever truly match his face to his emotions. Also, Gwynplaine's father was betrayed by, wait for it, his jester, whose "jests were cruel and his smiles were false." Sound like anyone you know?
Fittingly enough, this cinematic inspiration made its way back to the movies in Joker. The parallels to Arthur Fleck's medical condition, which causes him to compulsively laugh whenever he's under stress, are obvious. It's more than just the subtext, though - one Easter egg is a visual nod to a specific shot from The Man Who Laughs that recurs several times in Joker.
Throughout the film, Fleck forces a "smile" onto his face by hooking his fingers into his mouth and pulling upwards. This is exactly the same thing that the movie's doctor does to demonstrate Gwynplaine's condition.
Perhaps more importantly is the fact that Fleck does this same thing to a young Bruce Wayne when he's trying to get access to Thomas Wayne - the lines immediately after that shot in The Man Who Laughs explain that they did it so that Gwynplaine would "laugh forever at his fool of a father." Given the dynamic in play between Fleck and the Waynes, there's actually way more to it than just the supremely creepy act of putting your hands in a child's mouth.
Watch the video for more about Easter eggs you missed in Joker!
The Man Who Laughs | 0:17
The Joker's Modern Times | 1:48
The Joker's Scorsese connection | 3:17
The Maskmaker | 4:52
Zex und zex | 6:04
The Joker's hidden figure | 7:19
The Joker's Bernie Goetz | 8:47