REVIEW: Glass Onion, BFI London Film Festival

Daniel Craig returns as Detective Benoit Blanc in this hilarious and delightfully playful new murder mystery.

Here’s a tricky question – how do you review a film without giving away any absolute surprises? Well I’m about to attempt that now with this sparky, funny and delightfully unexpected sequel to 2019’s Knives Out that really reinvents what a murder mystery film should be about.

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the film sees billionaire Miles Bron inviting his friends for a getaway on a private island in Greece – but when a body turns up, things take a dark and ominous turn, leaving Detective Benoit Blanc having to solve this crime before another murder is committed. In the press conference for the film as part of its European Premiere, Johnson said he was inspired by Agatha Christie and the way she wrote about crime and set them in the era in which she lived which proved to be a successful formula and here it also pays dividends.

While it has many of the conventional aspects of a murder mystery, there is still plenty of unconventional aspects about this film that keeps it interesting to watch (which has been smartly written). From the diverse range of characters, the unexpected moments of humour and general quirkiness, there is plenty to keep the audience thoroughly entertained. there are surprise cameos all over the place – including rather touchingly Angela Lansbury and Stephen Sondheim, who both in their own ways were strongly familiar with the murder mystery genre. It is this kind of attention to detail that makes Glass Onion so enjoyable to watch. r mysteries on tv and film due to the heaviness

I do have to say that there is quite a build up to the murder aspect of the story which some might find slightly wearisome, but then it gives the audience a much needed opportunity to get to know and understand the characters and then throw in a twist that I didn’t see coming to really enhance the intensity of what is unfolding.

As someone who doesn’t normally enjoy murder mysteries on tv and film due to the heaviness of the plot and seriousness of it all, I was really pleasantly surprised with how playful this film is – I was equally intrigued and entertained. The script is light and well written in a way that will appeal to many types of audiences and it is clear that all of the cast are enjoying the many exaggerated aspects of the characters that they are playing.

In particular, Kate Hudson shines as Birdie a former model who has a tendency to make social faux pas all over the place, delivering a great sense of comedy throughout, Janelle Monáe is brilliantly sharp as tech entrepreneur Andi – really showing off a multitude of facets to her character perfectly and Kathryn Hahn as Claire who becomes increasingly paranoid as the film unfolds is delightfully funny. Daniel Craig meanwhile seems to relish to be reprising his role once more – really embracing every twist and turn of the plot.

The whole film is framed perfectly with the help of Nathan Johnson’s score that reflects the modernity of plot but also still ensuing the murder mystery aspect is heightened through the music as well as the glorious way in which Steve Yedlin has captured the film. The overall vibe is a smart, clever and witty film.

By Emma Clarendon

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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