The new Netflix film “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” ultimately falls short in creating a suspenseful murder mystery. While it features a beautiful setting and well known actors such as Kate Hudson (Birdie Jay), Madelyn Cline (Whiskey) and Daniel Craig (Detective Benoit Blanc), it is very predictable from early on in the movie. They included many major hints that made the film lack the suspense of the original “Knives Out” movie.
The film starts with a group of old friends who reunite on a trip to billionaire tech entrepreneur Miles Bron’s (Edward Norton) private island in Greece to play a murder mystery game. The other characters think that Detective Benoit Blanc is just along for the trip because he is a detective, and they are playing a murder mystery game. Little do they know, he is actually investigating a real murder.
The first half of the movie is shown from an outsider view of the characters time on the island, but during the second half, it follows Detective Blanc and gives inside information about what is really going on. The initial outsider perspective leaves many questions which keeps the audience eager to know what came next.
Even though the plot is predictable, the cinematography is spectacular. During the first two months of filming, the movie was shot in Peloponnese, Greece. Filming was then completed in Belgrade, Serbia. The beautiful locations in which the movie was filmed made it feel like the characters were actually on a secluded island and made for a visually pleasing watch.
The film highlights how money and wealth can make people evil and out of touch with their morals. All of the characters become so obsessed with money that they become blind to the truth. After Bron became a billionaire, he would regularly give his friends money to help them with their respective endeavors. For example, Bron gives Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn) money to help fund her political campaign. All of the characters became dependent on him to uphold their status and lifestyle, and in return they remain loyal to him. Since they depend on him for their livelihood, they all lie for him in his legal disputes case against Cassandra Brand (Janelle Monáe), Brons ex-business partner. The characters are aware that Bron is not a good person, but they feel trapped because of his financial hold over them.
The film’s name “Glass Onion” is a metaphor used in the film. An onion has many layers to it, but you can see right through glass. As Detective Benoit Blanc points out, the answer may seem to be complex, but it is actually quite obvious. This metaphor is relevant to the film because all of the characters have the opportunity and a motive to commit the murder. If Bron goes down, everyone else will suffer too, which seems to make everyone a suspect. However, like the glass onion, there may be many layers, but you can clearly see the center.
The filmmakers effectively use this metaphor in the movie and tie it to solving the murder. However, this movie does not live up to the original “Knives Out.” The true murderer in the original movie was only made clear at the end when Detective Blanc explained it all. But in the new movie, they gave more hints along the way. It was interesting how both movies had a similar idea: money can make people do crazy things.
Overall, I enjoyed the characters and setting of the film, but the filmmakers could have made it less predictable. I would recommend this movie, but it didn’t live up to my expectations for a mystery film.
I would recommend this movie, but it didn’t live up to my expectations for a mystery film.