Horror icon Jordan Peele’s newest contribution to the genre, NOPE, (rumored to stand for Not Of Planet Earth) delivers depth, surprises, originality, visual spectacle, and remarkable performances.
It’s a challenge to explain the reasons one must see this film without divulging too much—NOPE is very much a movie you have to talk to someone about as soon as you leave the theater (and yes…you need to see it in a movie theater!) After the success of GET OUT and Us, the world has been wondering what direction Mr. Peele’s third film would take, and the answer is: a new one.
In what may be his most subtle stroke of cultural reflection yet, Peele explores themes of captivity, self-reflection, colonization, territory, enslavement, and self-defense. It seems some viewers are missing these points, but paying close attention to the narrative and subtleties in dialogue will only expand on the film and its many, many messages. The film is also simultaneously a love letter to AND harsh critique of film-making and cinema. I have immense respect for a writer/director who doesn’t spell everything out for his audience and who, frankly, doesn’t feel the need to. The clues are there—it’s up to us to put them together.
I would be remiss not to mention that Keke Palmer, whose talents are all too frequently under-utilized, is FINALLY given a chance to shine as the spirited, driven, and extroverted Em, giving us an instantly lovable and iconic character. Daniel Kaluuya, whose range seems to be endless, speaks volumes in his more quiet, observant, and reserved role. There’s no weak link in the cast.
As mentioned above, discussing this film without giving away its many surprises is a challenge, but I suspect it will be such a hit I’ll have no trouble finding people to talk about it with as more and more people rush to see it—so hurry, you don’t want to risk any spoilers!