Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
By Jay Gadhvi
Six people are sent a mysterious package. Inside, a series of puzzles. Once solved they each receive an invitation from a reclusive billionaire inviting them to his private island for a murder-mystery-themed weekend party. However, something is afoot: five of the invitees are personal friends of the billionaire, the sixth has been invited by mistake. Someone may or may not be a killer who intends to strike again but one thing is for certain: nearly all in attendance have a motive to kill.
I walked into “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” with slight nervousness as I really loved “Knives Out” and was worried that the latest instalment would not live up to the first one. I am not someone who has watched or even read many murder/mystery stories, so I never go into these films trying to guess what the ultimate twist will be or who the culprits are. My overall enjoyment comes from being immersed in the film's world and admiring how the mystery is being unravelled to the audience. This was pulled off so well in “Knives Out” I was worried that it may not be replicated in “Glass Onion”.
Within a few minutes, however, all the nerves I had quickly faded as it was apparent that the audience was in the hands of a skilled filmmaker who brought out the best across the different film departments. I am of course referring to writer-director Rian Johnson who used all the filmmaking arsenals accessible to him to such great effect. All the twists and miss-directions felt organic and, as Johnson respects the audience and trusts them to piece together what may or may not have already taken place.
Johnson not only assembles and brings out the best from his crew behind the camera but draws out some incredible performances from his ensemble cast. Daniel Craig once again chews the scenery as the southern Detective Benoit Blanc and, as was the case with “Knives Out”, whenever he was merely present on-screen I had a grin wide enough to rival the Cheshire Cat's. His performance is not just a rehash of what we saw in the previous film, as both Craig and Johnson add a fish-out-of-water element by integrating his character amongst a completely different social environment. Though it is evident that Blanc is the smartest man in any room, Craig portrays him with a bit more vulnerability as well as an innocent foolishness compared to his more confident and self-assured demeanour in “Knives Out”.
The rest of the ensemble cast deliver brilliant performances, however that I will not go further into who delivered stand-out performances, as that might be ruining many of the surprises that the film's narrative has in store for you. Just be assured that everyone, including the many surprise cameo cast members, brought their A game to this film gave the impressing that they were enjoying working with such a great script.
After my initial viewing of “Glass Onion”, I was reminded of why I love the movies. Rarely have I been able to lose myself in a movie's narrative and enjoy how it unfolded before me. It was such a pleasure to be in the company of such a self-assured filmmaker who brings out the best in everyone working with him both in front and behind the camera. Though I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the cast and crew have in store for us next, if another sequel is planned for the near future then I would still enter with slight trepidation as I am stumped as to how this film can be topped.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is in cinemas and on Netflix.