By: Bridie Beamish
After Netflix initially released it on Nov. 23 for one week in theaters, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery officially came to Netflix on Dec. 23, becoming an instant hit. The film is a sequel to the 2019 classic Knives Out. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the new American mystery thriller features tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) as he invites his closest friends to his private island to play a murder mystery game. Famous detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) also makes an appearance at the retreat.
Featuring a modern plot line — by including the COVID-19 pandemic — the film takes on a satirical view of society’s contemporary culture. It accomplishes this by incorporating main characters such as controversial fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), self-image-obsessed governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), and “men’s rights” social media streamer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista). In an interview with The Atlantic Johnson proclaimed, “The whole movie, for me, is a bit of a primal scream against the carnival-like idiocy of the past six years.”
The plot takes a shocking turn when the murder mystery becomes much more than a game after one of the group members suddenly dies. Trapped on the reclusive island with no authorities to help, the friends must fight to protect themselves while figuring out which one of them is the murderer. Blanc takes an assertive role as he urges the group to stay calm and collected while putting his detective skills to the test after time off due to the pandemic.
The murder creates debilitating strains on the characters’ friendships, revealing that their relationships are much more fragile and surface-level than they wish to acknowledge. Forced to face their true selfish and corrupt selves, the group members must question their inner values: they debate whether they will risk it all to protect those morals or save themselves instead.
In an interview at Netflix’s global fan event, Tundum, Johnson explained how the film’s name pays homage to Detective Blanc. Johnson declared, “I’m always fishing for something fun that Blanc can grab onto as an overwrought metaphor that he can beat to death.” He then added, “[The mystery] is all in plain sight from the very start. So, the idea of glass came to me, something that’s clear. I’ll be very honest. I literally got out my iPhone and searched my music library with the word glass…The first thing that came up, because I’m a huge Beatles fan, is Glass Onion.” Johnson intends the movie to be fun, comedic, and not over-analyzed for a hidden meaning as many tend to do with films. Ironically, the meaning behind The Beattle’s song is very similar, and the band hinted that they wrote it as a message to fans who read too much into their lyrics.
In less than two weeks, the film racked up 209 million hours of watch time, proving it to be a major success among Netflix films. Sources also estimated that the film acquired 15 million dollars from its one-week-long theatrical release. The hit received numerous accolades, including two Golden Globes nominations, and the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures named the movie one of the top ten of 2022. Additionally, the film has a 92 percent Tomatometer, or critics consensus rating, and a 93 percent audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Stream Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery on Netflix for an engaging and hilarious film that is sure to put your mystery-solving skills up to the test!
(Sources: Entertainment Weekly, Rotten Tomatoes, ScreenRant, The Atlantic)
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