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Of Course, Glass Onion is a Lot of Fun but It Also Goes Deeper Than Knives Out
The Beatles’ self-titled album, sometimes known as the White Album, contains the song “Glass Onion,” which is a bit of a puzzle. The song starts off with the lyrics, “I told you about strawberry fields / You know the area where nothing is real / Well here’s another place you may go / Where everything flows.”Of Course, Glass Onion is a Lot of Fun but It Also Goes Deeper Than it Knives Out.
The boys sing about “seeing through a glass onion” so you can “see how the other half live,” with references to songs like “I Am the Walrus,” “Fixing a Hole,” and “The Fool on the Hill.” Perhaps you’re wondering what it means. In any case, nothing, which is why John Lennon composed it. He said in 1970, “I was having a laugh since there’d been so much gobbledegook about [the Beatles’ Sgt.
Pepper album], play it backward and you stand on your head and all that. People had been interpreting the Beatles’ lyrics far too literally, so Lennon decided to play some practical jokes on them by offering up mysterious words that meant absolutely nothing.
(Charles Manson didn’t get the joke and eventually came to believe—or at least to persuade his followers—that the White Album was really the Beatles’ attempt to get in touch with him and his “Family” and warn them about an impending race war; this served as the catalyst for the infamous killings of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, and three other people on Cielo Drive. But that is another tale for a different day.)
A phone is being questioned by three persons. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery stars Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr., and Kathryn Hahn. Netflix. Don’t read too much into the song’s lyrics, but you might want to because Rian Johnson seems to have used them as a starting point for writing and directing Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.
Glass Onion, Rian Johnson’s sort-of sequel to his smash-hit 2019 whodunit Knives Out, isn’t quite as satisfying as the original, but it demonstrates its writer-director’s customary keen attunement to the audience’s pleasure centers. My review: https://t.co/IBebu5b6Ci
— Dana Stevens (@thehighsign) November 21, 2022
It’s the follow-up to his hugely successful Knives Out from 2019, and like that movie, it centers on a complex mystery with a large cast of characters. Detective Benoit Blanc, played by a ridiculously accented Daniel Craig, who appears to be having a blast once more, is the lone holdover from the original movie.
Who wouldn’t?) During the pandemic, they shot in Greece.) This time, he and a number of Bron’s college classmates have landed up at the island home of a tech billionaire named Miles Bron (Ed Norton) for a weekend getaway and an unknown surprise.
The enjoyment of the Knives Out series is largely due to the fact that you are merely being asked to a party. Even if there are killings, everyone seems to be having a wonderful time and enjoying producing the movie. Along with Norton and Craig, other unexpected stars who unexpectedly appear for fleeting and charming cameos include Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr., and Jessica Henwick. Everybody, including you, is attempting to unravel the riddle. And it’s quite fulfilling in the end.
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It is evident that Johnson is following in the long tradition of the great Agatha Christie, who frequently includes casts of characters that represent people from all of the 19th century’s various social and cultural strata in her mystery novels, which are often penned by detectives like Miss Marple and Inspector Poirot. Spinsters, doctors, educated gentlewomen, bad-behaving jerks, servants, inspectors, preachers, you name it — all are examples of sorts who occasionally defy but more frequently fit the stereotype.
And because you are aware of what traits each individual is most likely to possess, it is much simpler to immerse yourself in the mystery and take pleasure in it as it unfolds. Johnson, like Christie, centers her stories on a detective—in this case, Blanc—who, despite appearing a little quirky and prone to being misjudged, is actually quite astute and perceptive. It’s your responsibility to debate him and attempt to unravel the enigma before he does. All of that contributes to the fun of Glass Onion and encourages viewers to actively participate in the film rather than merely watch it passively.
But at the same time, Knives Out and Glass Onion both have a slight edge, which I think is appropriate given the series’ name. The first movie wasn’t only a silly mystery-comedy; it was also satirical, mocking old money and a sort of pretend progressive who actually only wants to maintain their own social standing. (Remember the connections to Hamilton?) The first episode of the series was a scathing examination of “how the other half lives,” as John Lennon put it.
On beach chairs, three people sit or relax, yet they display a sinister appearance. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery stars Jessica Henwick, Kate Hudson, and Janelle Monáe. John Wilson and Netflix. For the second movie, Johnson cruises over to the realm of self-styled “founders,” or what I believe used to be called the “creative class” — people who love invention, live by smoke and mirrors, brag about moving quickly and breaking things, and become wealthy by possibly unethical ways.
As it slowly unpacks and exposes their hypocrisy, idiocy, and banality, the movie takes great pleasure in skewering them all. Since Netflix, one of the biggest tech success stories of all time, has fundamentally changed how movies and entertainment are produced and consumed over the past 15 years or more, there is a certain amount of irony in making fun of tech founders and inventors.
In fact, this movie is a part of Netflix’s endeavor to figure out how it will survive; it will only play in a few theatres for one week before taking a break for a few weeks until it is released on the streaming service. An odd plan for a movie that outperformed expectations in terms of ticket sales and generated a significant profit on its low budget.
Whatever Netflix’s plan is here—perhaps an attempt to fill all the theatres in a single week, generate a lot of buzzes, and end up with lots of subscriptions from people who wanted to see it in theatres but couldn’t get a ticket?—this is the kind of experimentation that today’s Silicon Valley types seem to revel in. It’s exactly the sort of thing Miles Bron and his pals would try to accomplish.
But maybe that’s the point after all. There’s a chance that Glass Onion is, in some ways, ironic about itself. It’s a murder mystery with a reflexive edge. Undoubtedly all in good fun. Possibly not, though. Perhaps it’s simply a joke. After all, there has been a lot of jargon.
The fun of Glass Onion is that you can either read meaning into it or just let it wash over you as you ride along. A week after its November 23 theatrical release, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will make its Netflix debut on December 23.