Amidst the peak of the pandemic, a group of friends are invited by billionaire Miles Bron to a Greek island. Bron had prepared a murder mystery for his friends to solve at the getaway. But little did he know, a ghost from his past, an uninvited guest, and an actual murder would ruin Bron and his friends’ lives.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is as fun to watch as it is satisfactory. Coupled with commentaries of the modern world and a unique non-linearity, the movie is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys the downfall of an antagonist.
Glass Onion’s commentary on the elite class is perhaps the most defining attribute of the film. It begins with five puzzle boxes being sent to five friends. Four of them immediately try to work together to solve the puzzle, giving the audience the impression that they are intelligent; throughout the film, Miles Bron constantly establishes the idea that he is artistic, backing it up with renting the Mona Lisa — amongst other artworks — and basing his mansion on The Beatles’ song, “Glass Onion.” The puzzle boxes and the mansion’s namesake explanation were supposed to show just how sophisticated the elite are, how much better they are than normal people because of their wealth and prestige.
However, the film quickly cracks down on that mirage. The puzzle would not have been solved without the help of other people. “Glass Onion” is a song written to spite those who looked too far into the meaning of songs. It is a concoction of allusions and red herrings in the disguise of art. Bron does not even realize the meaning of this song, and becomes the epitome of it — a fake artist with a mask made of money.
Aside from the theme, Glass Onion possesses a unique storytelling style. In a murder mystery, the recontextualization — where events are placed in a different context — happens at the end, normally when the detective is revealing how the crime happened. But in Glass Onion, the recontextualization happens halfway through the film, revealing the true plot of the movie. It is thrilling to watch as several suspicions become answered.
However, Glass Onion is not very plot heavy compared to its predecessor, Knives Out. It is more focused on getting its message across compared to making an intricate plot. The murderer is not hard to figure out. While it is intentional — with the movie’s message of a glass onion — it can be a turnoff for some.
Overall, Glass Onion is a fun watch. Though not as intricate as the first, the resolution is — in its own sense — just as cathartic.