Conversations around Joker have mostly revolved around the possible repercussions that the film could have on audiences. This week brought a bit of strange violence that will, unfortunately, be tied into the movie. Up until now, most of the concern around the film has been a lot of hot air, but that changes with this story. A Minneapolis woman was charged with damaging a car in a Joker mask yesterday. The seemingly random act is just one of those moments that seems surreal when you read it on the page. If that weren’t strange enough, she took a hatchet to the vehicle as her means of getting her point across.
Dakota County court documents obtained by WCCO give an account from two witnesses sitting in the backseat of the vehicle. No reason was given for what the car was doing near the city’s transit ramp at that time. They saw a woman in a light gray sweatshirt and a mask featuring the famous faceprint walking up on the car. That sight alone probably would trigger some immediate questions about what would come next. She quickly broke out the passenger side windows, exterior mirrors, and the windshield for good measure. Another brave witness approached the suspect while she was in the act and chased her off.
Police later apprehended Tazara Oliver, who told authorities that she had no strong recollection of doing any of the damage. The Joker mask and hatchet were located on her person and she was identified by the witnesses present. The third witness also got questioned by the police and told them that he was just trying to get Oliver to leave before she caused any more trouble. Now, she faces first-degree criminal damage to property. Her window-smashing damages are estimated to be upwards of a $1000.
Recently, Joker has had more time in the spotlight for positive things. But, this incident comes as a sort of sobering moment in the wake of the film’s success. Luckily, no one was hurt, and the other threats called into law enforcement or theaters have proved to be non-starters. Most screenings have gone off without a hitch, but there are still some trips to the theater that have been interrupted by strange behavior or scary situations.
Still, no one can deny that the movie is cashing in at the box office. Record returns for an opening weekend in October are a strong indicator that Joker will continue this dominant run through this weekend. Fans have had positive things to say about the film, and the conversation will rage on social media for the foreseeable future. People have begun to wonder if an Oscar campaign might be in order after the strong initial performance.
Critics are holding fast to their initial appraisal of the film while audiences rebel against those takes. Rotten Tomatoes has become a battleground where the audience score and critic scores stand in direct opposition to each other. It seems as though the film has kicked up a new round of debates around the merits of comic book films as well. High profile creators like Martin Scorsese calling other studio’s efforts like visiting a theme park. Hopefully, all of the drama going forward consists of quotes going forward rather than people with sharp objects.