Review

Glass Onion – Knives Out is a film by Rian Johnson (former director of the first film, Cena con delitto – Knives Out) included in the Netflix streaming platform, after a brief cinematic coverage which, according to estimates, should have earned more than 10 million euros worldwide. Part of the Knives Out saga, the film in question is not the sequel to the first, although it takes up some elements, ranging from the film’s particularly pronounced humor to the re-proposition of the character of Benoit Blancplayed again by Daniel Craig. But the sequel in question, also nominated in some categories of Golden Globes 2023, will he have respected the expectations of the eve, emerging victorious from the comparison with the first film? Here’s everything you need to know about the product, in regards to Glass Onion – Knives Out plot and review.

The plot of Glass Onion – Knives Out

Following the situation that occurred in the first film, with Ana De Armas And Chris Evansthe situation in the world has changed radically: the world has known the Coronavirus and all its consequences (lockdown, isolation, masks and reduction of social contacts, but also novax tendencies and people who fail to comply with government directives), while the trend of self-made men is growing more and more, who govern the world indirectly through their technological creations and the implementation of artificial intelligence systems that change the way of interpreting the reality in which we live.

Among them is MilesBron (Edward Norton), which constitutes an increasingly domotized reality, being appreciated as a genius all over the world despite a character that is far from easy to sustain. The latter decides to create a great game involving his historical collaborators, but for a fortuitous case the invitation (in the form of an enigma to be revealed) is also delivered to Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), who thus takes part in the event. Here, the detective – who reveals the enigma of Miles’ game in just a few seconds, which should have kept everyone busy for days – is confronted with a reality full of secrets and possible motives, in a less classic form of whodunit but with a large dose of irony and chaos, which lead the viewer towards the end and towards the resolution of the case and the unmasking of the culprit.

Rian Johnson’s film review on Netflix

The sequel to Knives Out was inevitably highly anticipated, by virtue of the many elements that had been presented in the first film, impressing the viewer and managing to win over the critics. For many, especially among insiders, Glass Onion constitutes a small step backwards from the film compared to the first product, albeit with a quality that cannot fail to be underlined and which in any case recalls the high standard to which Rian Johnson, with his idea of film saga, has accustomed. There is no doubt that the sense of the feature film changes particularly compared to the first film, although this mechanism can be identified as the result of a construction process: the intention of Rian Johnson, who with Knives Out does not want to make a trilogy and finished but a real saga capable of churning out other products over the years, can only go through a de-construction of some representative attitudes, including some present in the first film, to then re-propose some other elements, especially in terms of thought and language, capable of constituting an ideal saga that goes from the yellow to the thriller genre, also passing through grotesque motifs and a humor that here appears to be even more accentuated than in the first film by the same director. The desire to create a constant narrative, in which horizontal plot elements are reduced or absent and, above all, in which each story lives in the expression of a single feature film, is certainly the sense of Rian Johnson’s challenge. For this reason, therefore, by stripping each film of those typical elements of serialized narration (the cliffhanger, the reticence or the flashback), the resulting result is the creation of packaged and self-contained products, which can also be watched as unique and which have no direct link with the previous or subsequent feature films.

But this also has another result, which can be clearly seen in the result of Glass Onion – Knives Out: experiment with film genres, experimenting with the camera and managing to create increasingly innovative, original and autonomous products in their own directing structure. In the first film, the great merit that had been recognized to Rian Johnson was that of knowing how to build an enormous representative machine that rested on the citationism, well integrated within the system: the direct consequence had been a valuable hybridization of genres, such as to produce a film that knew how to place itself in the present and in the past at the same time; thus, from the explicit quotations by means of television, to the alleged culprit who collaborates with the detective, passing through the exchange that gives rise to the crime and the simultaneous presence of many possible motives, the film was enriched with many direct and indirect references to the great epic of yellow, by means of an overall work in which the genre itself knew how to be intelligently reproposed, also thanks to the dynamism of the film and the determined freshness of the present irony.

By eliminating some of these aforementioned elements, inserting new ones and taking the successful characteristics to the extreme, here is the result of Glass Onion – Knives Out. The film is enriched above all thanks to a large investment in terms of cast, with the inclusion in the film of actors like Edward Norton and Dave Bautistaas well as by means of some cameos certainly very welcome by the public (Ethan Hawke, Angela Lansbury, Hugh Grant).

The elements of difference between the first and second film

There claustrophobia which had been made possible by the villa in the first film is here deformed, by means of the expedient of the island on which the Glass Onion, the building where Miles Bron lives. It is a choice that produces a twofold result: on the one hand, that intensity which was made possible by prolonged shooting in the same room or by investigations typical of yellow, which focus on some structural elements (including people) of the house, here it fails, by virtue of a broadening of the perspective that inevitably rests on very different types of representation; on the other, the metaphorical sense of the choice of an ideal glass dome appears quite evident: it is Miles Bron’s crystal construction, built on the basis of a constant illusion that man sets up both in relation to his companions , and addressing himself to a consideration that also finds space in contemporary reality, turning his gaze towards the “gurus” of the third millennium.

Thus, however voluntary or not, the representation of the character played by Edward Norton becomes a particularly marked parody of Elon Musk, also managing to anticipate the sense of decline, represented by the social response to an increasingly clumsy and pompous attitude, which distinguishes these men in their work and in their social dimension. The flames that envelop the dome, destroying that enormous pompous but fragile construction, therefore, are the expressionistic purification of whoever gets rid of the overabundance of these elements: Rian Johnson inevitably exaggerates here, letting it be also the Gioconda to rot in flames. In a certain sense, it is a question of closing the circle, of the longed-for final of a process of replicability and synthesis that unites those in power: the fallacious consideration of being able to conquer everything, of being able to appropriate even that dimension of sacredness which it is not for sale, but that it belongs to the human as such.

The element that makes sense of the feature film is determined by the time lag that organizes the narration into two macro-blocks: the mystery, therefore, is no longer the object of spatial limits, but rather by the poor temporal understanding that the spectator has of the movie; for this reason, the re-proposition of those same scenes already observed from another perspective allows the initial doubts to be clarified, denying part of those certainties that had been developed during the film’s viewing. A choice which, of course, rests on the element of plot twist: although it is not the most unpredictable surprise ever, the character of expectation is easily replaced by the elaboration of the narrated object, also placing the evergreen (and often used, in classic cinema) idea of ​​the double at the center of the representation, in this case bearer of the misunderstanding by virtue of the presentation of the Cassandra/Helen character. Finally, with regard to the characters, one cannot but note that – despite a greater investment in the cast, which is certainly noticeable within the film through the secondary characters (Bautista above all), there is a lack of a dramatic tone in the management of the protagonist , played by Janelle Monáe, through a cast that tends to be even more choral than in the first film, balancing the screen-time and canceling the “Ana De Armas” effect that was there in the first film.

Netflix’s new advertising idea and the distribution of the film in multiple theaters

In the margin of the consideration relating to Glass Onion – Knives Outthere is one last consideration to make about the film, once again produced and distributed on the Netflix streaming platform. In recent years, it has not infrequently been possible to deal with numerous controversies, relating to the scarce approach of the streaming service to the cinema, which Netflix has used only and exclusively in a reduced form, in order to get people talking about the product but only giving few the chance to see it on the big screen. This type of reasoning has certainly disadvantaged insiders, including exhibitors, who have been denied the opportunity to screen particularly important feature films, as in the recent case of Pinocchio by Guillermo Del Toro or in that of It was the hand of God by Paolo Sorrentino.

With Glass Onion – Knives Out, Netflix has thought of a wider distribution, which has made it possible to reach Italian and international multiplexes as well, with earnings that have been felt and with an attention to the film that has certainly not been trivial. By virtue of the will of Amazon Prime Videoswhich will produce films for cinemas every year, we can begin to notice a small movement of streaming platforms towards cinemas, although it is still too small and hides structural problems that are much more serious for the film industry.

Review – Glass Onion-Knives Out: the return of Rian Johnson on Netflix – Superga Cinema