Quote Originally Posted by uncool View Post
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That...doesn't really fit, in either a Watsonian or Doylist sense. Among other things:
Watsonian: Arthur's coworkers pretty clearly interact with Randall and Gary. Arthur tells the boss that Gary called him in, so either the boss is a delusion (which leads to a bigger set of problems) or the boss just accepts Arthur talking about a nonexistent Gary. The coworkers commiserate with Arthur at Randall's prompting. And so on.

Doylist: Arthur's delusions come from the things he wants. He wants a father and to be important - so he has a delusion of a situation where he gains a famous father figure. He wants both a girlfriend and someone who (unlike his mother) supports his creative hobby - so he has a delusion of a girlfriend that thinks his standup is funny. Also, his delusions aren't of dreamt-up people - it's of real people, just doing things in the way he wants.

Additionally, that way lies the idea that the entire movie is Arthur's delusion. Which...kinda ruins the movie, unless played off in the "multiple choice origin story" way.
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I actually like the idea that the whole movie is a delusion. It fits what we see. The whole city coming to revere him (before he does anything public) is a lot easier to swallow if it's his delusion. The way he casually slips past the police barricade at the movie theatre, and then Thomas Wayne doesn't have him arrested. Getting to go on the MurrAY Show with no pre-screening, nobody checks him for a gun, being allowed to go on in full clown make-up...plus the whole thing was being aired live, which I don't think would have been still happening in the 1980s. My research failed me on this particular point however.

The movie has a very dreamlike quality throughout. He walks away from the detectives mid-conversation and they don't follow him inside. He kills Randall and Gary doesn't appear to call the police on him. His "girlfriend" doesn't call the police, and we never see her again after that scene. The cops don't come after him for stealing his mother's paperwork from the insane asylum either.

It's all told as a series of "scenes" that fit the way you would come up with something in a fantasy without the inconveniences of the real world to intrude.