By Kate Connor
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is Detective Benoit Blanc (played by Daniel Craig)’s second movie appearance. Though not a direct sequel to Knives Out, Glass Onion features the same witty and humorous tone as the original, alongside the solving of a murder. The sequel occurs in the same ‘universe’ as Knives Out, in a sort of Agatha Christie/Hercule Poirot way.
I really enjoyed Glass Onion. I loved the way it touched on relevant themes such as COVID and climate change (without being too “in your face”). At the beginning of the movie, all the characters are seen wearing masks and working from home. The layout of the screen was very clever; every character had their own square, just like on a Zoom call.
There is a lot of excellent foreshadowing in this movie. While our protagonists (the self-titled ‘Disruptors’) are solving their billionaire friend Miles [Edward Norton]’s puzzles, a seemingly unimportant anecdote sets up the ‘Glass Onion’ metaphor for the first time:
“A fugue is a beautiful musical puzzle based on just one tune… when you layer [it] on top of itself…it turns into a new structure.”
Only a few scenes later we are introduced to the ‘real’ Glass Onion on Miles’ private island. In fact, the whole premise of our billionaire’s weekend-long party is an incarnation of the metaphor itself; a fake murder mystery soon becomes a real one.
Each of the characters’ COVID masks represented their characters perfectly. For example, Birdie [Kate Hudson] shows up to the island in a mesh mask (as expected of someone who hosts a party during lockdown). Politician Claire [Kathryn Hahn], wears a loose, very flimsy mask (potentially only to ‘show face’, not because she actually wants to wear it), and Duke [Dave Bautista] doesn’t wear one. Neither does his girlfriend Whiskey [Madelyn Cline], in line with Duke’s political beliefs.
In classic Poirot-like fashion, Detective Blanc unpeels all the layers to uncover the mystery in a monologue towards the film’s end. This is also where the movie splits into a different POV. We get the story from Andi/Helen [Janelle Monae]’s perspective, which is something I really enjoy in this genre of cinema.
Benoit Blanc’s southern charm has, once again, captured the spotlight. His character was a curious mix of modesty and arrogance, which makes him an interesting watch. With rumours of a Knives Out 3, he is sure to be centre stage once again.