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Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Review: Rollickingly Good!

January 02, 2023 13:30 IST

Daniel Craig is clearly having a ball playing detective Benoit Blanc, a character completely opposite of James Bond, discovers Mayur Sanap.

Beatles fans may recognise Glass Onion as the not-so-popular track from the 1968 album The Beatles aka The White Album.

Written by John Lennon, the song was meant to be a cheeky potshot at fans who delve way too deep into the band's lyrics for hidden layers/meanings. The song rubs in the fact that sometimes, there's nothing deep about the lyrics at all.

This was perhaps too amusing for the impish mind of writer-director Rian Johnson who named the sequel to his 2019 film Knives Out, Glass Onion.

Johnson's sarcasm grows stronger and stronger as the film progresses, resulting in a rollicking good time for the viewers.

With Knives Out, Johnson brought back the classic whodunit and gave it a refreshingly unique modern-day makeover.

With Glass Onion, Johnson dials up on the fun and comedic moments, keeping the essential elements of the mystery intact. But just like the Beatles song, nothing is to be taken seriously as the film plays out for laughs and thrills. And it does so with great panache.

The film follows the weekend murder mystery party on an island owned by megalomaniac billionaire (a deliriously over-the-top Edward Norton).

Daniel Craig returns as spiffy detective Benoit Blanc, who receives an invitation to attend the party alongside an eclectic group of people which includes a high profile politician (Kathryn Hahn), a funky scientist (Leslie Odom Jr), a frivolous Internet star (Dave Bautista), and a washed-out supermodel (Kate Hudson).

Also invited is a friend-turned-foe of the host (Janelle Monáe), who has a bone to pick with just about everyone at the party.

When the guests arrive, it soon becomes apparent why they are there and an actual murder is committed.

What follows is an intriguing series of events of finger-pointing, revealing secrets and hidden motives.

Johnson sets up the first half with an absurdist comedy tone to build up expectations to knock it down by unexpected twists and turns.

Not only are we given an exciting whodunit, but also an enjoyable comedy featuring snappy wisecracks and clever quips with a sprinkling of delicious pop-culture references.

In addition, Glass Onion serves social hors d'oeuvres, highlighting the egotism, greed and manipulation of the rich and famous. The mysteries and misdirection are fun enough on their own, but it is the wit and social satire that make Glass Onion such fun.

Daniel Craig is clearly having a ball depicting a protagonist that is the complete opposite of his James Bond character.

This time, we get to see a bit of backstory to understand Blanc's various personality quirks.

Janelle Monáe brings her A-game in a wonderfully charismatic turn. Hers is probably the only sympathetic character and she steals every scene she is in.

Glass Onion is great fun for most of its 140 minutes, but things get lukewarm towards the end when it tries to be too clever by a long-drawn-out twist ending.

Knives Out is a delightful franchise and it will be exciting to see what Johnson has in store for Benoit Blanc in the next film.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery streams on Netflix.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Review Rediff Rating: