An element of Todd Phillips' Joker the film that was celebrated, but is still undervalued, is the soundtrack by Hildur Guðnadóttir. It is threatening and moody, but also scarce, with a design. It aims to make you feel uncomfortable while Arthur Fleck finds his place in a difficult and disturbing society. But the composer has just revealed an incredible technique that he performed in the composition to suggest that Joker was slowly overwhelming Arthur, musically.
As part of the onslaught of interviews with the prizes that important creative characters have played in the sectors, Hildur Guðnadóttir opened Deadline's work for Todd Phillips. And he explained how the cello sound was to represent Arthur Fleck at the beginning of Joker . Guðnadóttir said:
The story is a journey of a man who tries to understand his past and where he comes from, so I thought it was really important to get into his head. It was really important [examine] as it should have been the soul of Arthur Fleck. … For me, it was really important that all the music for Arthur was directed and completely without flourishing, very simple, almost naive. As you can hear in the score, there are almost no harmonies. It's almost like a chain of thoughts that he's carrying out, this kind of relentless simplicity.
But behind that cello sound, Hildur Guðnadóttir told Deadline that he had the faint sound of a 90, which slowly allowed it to become more and more noisy as chaos in Arthur's world concentrated. In essence, the sound of the orchestra became the stand for Joker. As he explained it:
As we go further into the story, and begin to understand more, and his anger begins to come to the surface a little more – especially towards the end of the film – the orchestra became so noisy that it somehow ate the cello and the Joker took over the Arthur Fleck we saw at the beginning.
That transformation is at the core of the Joker. It's physical, on the screen, while Joaquin Phoenix explores the physicality of Arthur and the face he wears in makeup. How beautiful it is that this too is explored and transmitted in the musical arrangement of Joker , as provided by Hildur Guðnadóttir.
The first time I really started to notice the cello sound was in the bathroom dance scene. Listen here:
Now I want to go back to Joker , and lend pay attention to the growing sound of the orchestra because, as you say, it eats the soul of Arthur. Have you understood that? Or is it something that has just been brought to your attention. Basically, I love learning new things about the movies I've learned to love. And you?