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Why You Should Watch Murder Mystery Glass Onion, Sequel to Knives Out

Culture

With Glass Onion, the latest movie in Rian Johnson's series Knives Out, out in theaters—you might be wondering what the fuss is about. If you haven't seen Knives Out, the first movie in the series, you absolutely must watch it before heading out to watch the newest of Rian Johnson's murder mystery masterpieces.

Summary of Knives Out

First, let's talk about Knives Out. For a basic summary, the movie centers around the Thrombey family. Harlan Thrombey died, seemingly by suicide, the night of his birthday. Throughout the movie, Johnson leads the audience through every family member's potential motives for murder, before turning it into an absolutely shocking plot twist. Knives Out was so loved by audience members because of the fantastic way Johnson was able to engineer a plot twist that was near-impossible to predict, yet somehow made incredible sense after everything was pieced together.

Why Was The Plot Twist So Great

Knives Out uses very typical tropes of the murder mystery genre, yet somehow manages to make it entirely unique. Rian Johnson does this by pretty much switching genres halfway through the movie. I'll avoid giving out spoilers for those who haven't already seen the film—but the movie reveals who the killer is before the half-way mark is even reached. As a result, the movie turns on it's head, no longer a whodunit, but instead following the story of the murderer attempting to get away with it. And Johnson manages to make it so that we sympathize so much with the killer that we are, in fact, rooting for them to get away with it. (I promise this will make more sense if you watch the movie—it's fantastic). It might seem strange, but Johnson makes the transition so smoothly that it seems perfect. But, by the end, Rian Johnson manages to tie everything up neatly, solving both the issue of how the killer will get away with the crime and the issue of who was truly at fault for the death of Harlan Thrombey.

What I love most about the plot twist, is that looking back, it feels so obvious to me. It's not even that there are tiny clues left all around the film for us to find (because there are many), it's because Rian Johnson has allowed us to get to know each of these characters so well that it seems perfectly fitting, who the true killer turns out to be. So many times, I've wished to watch the movie all over again, for the first time, to see if I could figure out the plot twist myself. But that's the magic of it—it's impossible to figure out at first glance, but it's so spectacularly written that it feels like you could. That's what the best plot twists feel like--they're not shocking things that simply came from nowhere and make no sense, they make perfect sense, they just aren't obvious until the big reveal. And that's what Rian Johnson does so perfectly in Knives Out, and now Glass Onion--he makes the plot twists entirely natural but still surprising.

Themes in Knives Out

A huge part of Knives Out focuses on class differences. Marta, the nurse who takes care of Harlan Thrombey, is one of the main characters in the movie. From the very beginning, we see how each member of the family looks down on Marta, even though they say that she's part of the family and that they love her. They convince themselves that they're being kind and accepting and wonderful by just allowing Marta into their home, but they really don't treat her as family at all. Slowly, throughout the film, Rian Johnson uncovers the dark parts of each family member—even the ones that appear the nicest to Marta at first. He explores the way Harlan's considerable wealth has made his entire family corrupt and greedy and power-hungry, and how through all of that, Marta has become his one true friend and companion. This is made clear in such subtle ways that might be missed upon first watch, but they're so clever in showing the dark sides beneath the surface of every Thrombey family member. He uses the contrast of different perspectives by showing the same shots over and over from different points of view, showing how each character views each scene differently based on their own biases, without even realizing it. By doing so, Rian Johnson manages to make a murder mystery that is not only filled with fun (and murder), but also tells a touching story that focuses on some very important themes that Johnson expertly weaves in throughout the film.

The Basics of Glass Onion

Now that I've thoroughly gushed about how amazing Knives Out is, let's talk about Glass Onion, the sequel that everyone should be watching in theaters right now. It features the same detective as Knives Out, played by Daniel Craig—Benoit Blanc. He's a hilarious detective, somehow light-hearted and funny, with his southern accent and funny phrases, while at the same time being serious and emotional and absolutely genius. This time, however, instead of focusing on a scheming, cruel family, Glass Onion focuses on the story of a billionaire who invites several of his friends to an island getaway. He says that they will be playing a murder mystery game, in which he will be the victim—but it's no longer a game when someone is found dead almost immediately upon arrival. It's received raving reviews already—so head to the theaters as soon as you can! If you can't make it in time to watch in theaters, Glass Onion will begin streaming on Netflix on December 23rd!

Now that you know everything there is to know about Rian Johnson's spectacular Knives Out and his newly released sequel, Glass Onion—you can head out immediately to watch them both! I guarantee you'll love them both.

Angeline Zhao
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Angeline Zhao is a tenth-grader at Phillips Academy Andover. She loves journalism, competition math, teaching, and playing card games. Angeline often spends hours overanalyzing books and binge-watching shows like Gilmore Girls and Brooklyn 99.