Movie premieres: Nope! confirms the great visual imagination of Jordan Peele and also his weaknesses

nope! (Nope!United States/2022). Script and direction: Jordan Peel. Photography: Hoyte Van Hoytema. Song: Michael Abels. edition: Nicholas Monsour. Ready: Jordan Peele, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, Keith David. duration: 140 minutes distributor: IPU. Qualification: Suitable for ages 13 and up. Our opinion: Okay

In his brief directorial career, Jordan Peele managed to capture the attention of critics, observers, and scholars alike by exposing unsettling questions about crucial issues in today’s American society from a place that mixes social awareness and a rather original combination of genres. well recognizable cinematographic

From a debut film with unbeatable results (Hey!) and a much more pretentious and less successful second film (Us), Peele risked new mixes between comedy and terror to talk about the racism that emerges undercover everywhere, the cruelty of the prevailing economic system and the imposture of certain institutions, among other issues that are sensitive to the gaze of a director too concerned to leave It is clear that his thing is to awaken dormant consciences and ignite debates.

nope! (Nope! in the English original) is a corrected and augmented expression of the same search. The title of Peele’s third (and even more ambitious) film reflects our immediate reaction to all those things that are wrong and seem impossible to solve, because they are beyond our strength. If they do overcome them, it is because, among other things, we feel very small and powerless in the face of these big issues. Among them, the cinema itself. At this point, it’s no longer enough for Peele to speak his mind across genres. He now needs to refer to cinema in a broad sense and resort to little help from colleagues whom he seems to regard with respect and admiration.

The Steven Spielberg of Shark Y Close Encounters of the Third Kindand the M. Night Shyamalan of signs Y The end of the ages they are unavoidable references to a film with a few shocking scenes and some very attractive visual ideas, but at the same time carrying on its shoulders the weight of the arguments of a director who seems too convinced of his own importance.

As in Us, nope! Start with a biblical quote. “And I will cast abominable filth on you, and I will debase you, and I will make you a spectacle,” says the initial text, taken from the book of the prophet Nahum, which predicts the fall of the Assyrian city of Nineveh. In this case the punishment hangs over the very iconography of Hollywood, unable to recognize its own sins and willing to persist in them.

Everything that happens has as its main stage a colorful rural property near Los Angeles. There, for several generations, a black family runs a breeding and training space for horses that are used in film productions. Brothers OJ (Daniel Kaluuya, Peele’s favorite actor) and Emerald (Keke Palmer) Haywood carry on the business after the death of their father (Keith David), the victim of a surprise rain of debris, the first sign of the apocalypse to come. .

The quiet and intuitive OJ will soon discover a kind of intergalactic conspiracy that would not be alien to the theme park on themes of the old West that works next to his property and belongs to Ricky Park (Steven Yeun), TV child star. whose career collapsed when he participated in the live recording of a sitcom and an uncontrolled chimpanzee caused a massacre. Ricky was the only survivor.

The threat has the increasingly visible contours of one of those flying saucers that we saw in the series of the 60s and 70s as The invaders. The fight of the Haywoods (accompanied by a technical expert and a veteran cameraman) against this extraterrestrial machine for gobbling up people and things exhibits a few samples of visual splendor, as ingenious as it is empty. Peele prefers to bring out the full power of his ideas (represented with the help of extraordinary visual and optical effects) rather than incorporate them into a more intelligible, less chaotic plot. More than a narrator convinced of the power of a good story, Peele is a great audiovisual artist who goes forward with the absolute confidence that the strength of those images will achieve the best possible explanation.

But not everything is so easy to understand. Peele mixes obsessions, questions, theses and influences in such an arbitrary way that it often makes us lose our compass and misunderstand the axis of the story. There is fascination and bewilderment in equal parts in the third work of a director increasingly dangerously in love with accumulation as a method.

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