Rian Johnson knows what he is set out to do, so just like the White Lotus he tries to tap into the absurdity of being rich and even a level higher.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Movie Review Rating: 3.8
Star Cast: Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Ethan Hawke & ensemble.
Director: Rian Johnson
What’s Good: For a murder mystery and a sharp commentary on the rich and their absurdity this film doesn’t take itself seriously at any given point, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t prove what it sets out to.
What’s Bad: The intense seriousness of it all goes entirely missing and that does bother someone who has fallen in love with the unfathomable nature of the predecessor.
Loo Break: It’s crisp and entertaining in every corner, don’t take that risk.
Watch or Not?: If you don’t want to miss Daniel speaking in his Australian accent, Kate Hudson as the ultimate riot, and Edward Norton paying homage to the dumbness, switch your TV on right now.
Language: English (with subtitles).
Available On: Netflix
Runtime: 110 Minutes.
A weird billionaire calls his group of friends over to his private island for his murder mystery party. His ill-doings attract our very own detective Benoit Blanc to Greece and what was supposed to be a fun weekend turns into a nightmare. Blanc takes the job to solve the puzzle and unfolds the hilarious ride.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Movie Review: Script Analysis
Knives Out, which came right in between the pandemic, was one of the most well received experiments across the globe coming from the western cinema. It was about the absurdity of the elites and their greed for more than they have even if it means digging graves of their loved ones was a message passed across marinated in suspense and also some dark humor. The movie had the amazing Ana de Armas bringing the much-needed seriousness and even situational humour. The USP of that film was the plot that was so layered and intervened that you could suspend your disbelief to the maximum.
Glass Onion which technically is not a continuation of the same story but another episode in the life of Benoit Blanc, happens to be now set in real-time. It’s 2020 when the world is fighting the pandemic and there are rich again enjoying their self-imposed quarantines with the luxury that can support a village to have basic necessities for a year. Rian Johnson knows what he is set out to do, so just like the White Lotus he tries to tap into the absurdity of being rich and even a level higher. He shows you the dumbness that lurks in these people who are otherwise achievers in the eyes of the world.
The absurdity in itself is a means to show you how cut off these people are from the reality and how they are about to get into trouble on an alien island. Dave Bautista’s Duke is the kind of influencer who talks about the Breastification of America, Miles played by Norton is so smart that he has built a ‘smart’ island fuelled by a self-discovered element but is also dumb to have made it of glass, so fragile. Kate Hudson is just dumb but also thinks of herself as the smartest, and rest everyone is similar degrees of crazy and weirdness. The meta humour goes to an extent where Jared Leto delivers batches of Khambucha to Edward Norton’s Miles.
So when the metaphor Glass Onion begins to unravel and you see beneath this absurdity, the effects of the doings of these people, you understand there is much more impact of this stupid charade than a means of laughter. There is power in these hands that are attached to a brain dumb enough to not understand the difference between sweatpants and sweatshops. Johnson in his writing that is hilarious for the lack of an adjective, highlights many real-world problems including the class divide, the slavery imposed on the people of third-world countries, the impact of a luxury fuel on the environment, and the rich rejoicing over their fossils.
While doing all this there is also an unsettling mystery that is being solved by Blanc who knows nothing better than to find who the killer is. The script just like its predecessor is layered. This time around even the title lends itself so beautifully to make it into an undying thread till the end. Just the over-explaining it bothered me because it did feel like spoon-feeding. Talking more about the mystery-solving part of it will only kill the fun.
While the movie manages to highlight many issues and critique them, it is all done with comedy ten notches higher than Knives Out. By the end, you are left thinking if there was a scope for some seriousness or an intense scene where you could not think about the humour for a bit? The answer is yes and I wish the makers asked this themselves before.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Movie Review: Star Performance
I love how the cast goes meta in playing their parts in Glass Onion. Daniel Craig and his unmatched panache remain constant. With his accent, he rules the screen every time he graces it and there is no bad bit about his performance. The actor is so confident about the way his character thinks that he makes you believe in his smartness.
Edward Norton is playing a cinematic concoction of his characters if they were dumber and funnier. It is so much fun to see him go from the smartest to the dumbest in no time and all of it looks so effortless. So is Kate Hudson, who happens to be my favourite character this times. The sheer campy vibe and the ‘I am dumb but devil may care’ attitude she brings to the table are so hilarious. She is extra and unapologetic all the time, give her a spin-off somebody.
Dave Bautista is certainly growing as an actor and I am here to witness his evolution. With no prosthetics to help him cover up this time, he is so good with his comic timing. More of this please Dave. Rest everyone is fun and amazing in the parts they get to play.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Movie Review: Direction, Music
Rian Johnson as the director captivates these characters on an island that is a glass prison and there is no escaping. Thinking of 2020 and the following year only reminds you of the captivation and the maker plays with the thought. The filmmaker this time doesn’t divide his movie into segments but assumes that you know the setup. He uses comedy as a constant mode while the rest of the events occur. It works and doesn’t when you think about the seriousness of it entirely going missing.
Nathan Johnson’s music does what it intends to and does create the environment needed for this mystery drama. The camera work is smart considering a lot is to be hidden and revealed later.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Movie Review: The Last Word
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a film that is aware of the time and landscape it is set in. It’s humorous, meta, and responsible about the things it wants to say.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Trailer
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery releases on 23rd December, 2022.
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