- Debbie Cerda
GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY - A Modern Whodunit
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a clever and entertaining whodunit that pays homage to classic murder mysteries while putting its own modern spin on the genre. The film written and directed by Rian Johnson centers around blackmail and the subsequent death of tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) and the investigation that follows, led by world-famous detective Benoit Blanc, portrayed by Daniel Craig.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, Bron invites five friends to join a murder mystery game at his mansion, the Glass Onion, located on his private island in Greece. The friends include Mile’s Alpha co-founder and former CEO Cassandra "Andi" Brand (Janelle Monáe), Alpha head scientist Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), Connecticut governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), men's rights streamer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), and controversial fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson). The group is also joined by Birdie's assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick) and Duke's girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline), as well as Detective Blanc.
Miles is puzzled by the presence of Detective Blanc as he had not invited him, but allows him to stay. Before dinner, Miles shows off the Mona Lisa, on loan from the Louvre. He reveals that the Glass Onion is powered by "Klear", the hydrogen-based alternative fuel that Alpha will launch, despite concerns over its stability and safety.
Blanc almost immediately solves Miles' pretend murder mystery, and things become awkward and tense – especially after Duke collapses and dies after drinking from Miles' glass and his pistol disappears. The power goes out and chaos ensues, as it's now become a cat-and-mouse game of survival for everyone on the island.
Director Rian Johnson expertly weaves together a complex web of clues and red herrings in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, keeping viewers guessing until the very end. The script is smart and witty, with a wealth of twists and turns to keep the audience engaged. The ensemble cast deliver stellar performances, with Monae stealing the scene at every turn. Craig’s Southern accent seems a bit overexaggerated and varies at times. According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rian Johnson said he initially modeled Benoit Blanc after Agatha Christie's fictional Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
The film's production design is slick, with the lavish estate and furnishings where the murder takes place serving as a stunning backdrop for the action. The use of color and lighting is particularly effective, adding to the film's overall atmosphere of intrigue and suspense.
While Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery may not break new ground in terms of the murder mystery genre, it is a reasonably entertaining film for viewers who enjoy puzzling over whodunits. It is a must-see for anyone who loves a good mystery or just wants to sit back and enjoy a comedic suspense.