‘Glass Onion’s’ clarity serves as a boon and a detriment

Ravin Bhatin

NESPA Winner: Review, 2023

The Cypress, Brookline High School, Brookline, MA

Standing in a Hydrogen-powered, breathtakingly modernized space adorned with glass sculptures and a remarkable view of the Aegean Sea, Detective Benoit Blanc (Bond star Daniel Craig) apprehensively repeats an adage about “glass onions:” though ostensibly convoluted, their meanings are actually right in front of us, easily apparent.

Such an adage is emblematic of “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” the Rian Johnson-directed murder mystery that debuted on Netflix on Friday, Dec. 23. Employing Johnson’s signature comedic-dramatic writing and uniquely refined performances from its A-list cast, its sprawling, grand effects and subtle implications are antithetical to the nature of its reveal, which, frankly, is frustratingly simplistic.

The mystery, set in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, follows billionaire entrepreneur Miles Bron (Edward Norton of 1999’s “Fight Club”), who invites his friends to his private island for a murder mystery party. They include the fictional Governor of Connecticut and Senate hopeful Claire Debella (“Wandavision’s” Kathryn Hahn), scientist Lionel Toussaint (“Hamilton’s” Leslie Odom, Jr.), former supermodel Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson of 2000’s “Almost Famous”), chauvinist YouTuber Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) and Cassandra “Andi” Brand (the uber-talented Janelle Monáe), Miles’ ostracized business partner who is on the verge of exposing him for stealing her intellectual property,

Unbeknownst to the socialites, Detective Blanc has been hired to investigate a murder committed the prior week, which he believes was the work of one of said socialites. He slyly investigates, scurrying around Miles’ island and collecting motives for each guest, all while navigating the unexpected and chill-inducing death of one (an indication that he has a serial killer on his hands…).


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