Nope, the third film of director Jordan Peele, who entered our lives permanently with Get Out in 2017, is among the year’s most memorable films. With Get Out and Us, the director shows us what a creative man he is. But this time, he chooses a different story than the first two films. Unfortunately, the director, who did not change his classic narrative language, falls victim to the editorial language he prefers this time. Nope, which looks like an awe-inspiring movie when viewed from the bigger picture, is a rather dull movie that made me ask myself, “Should I leave the theater” many times. Out of respect for the creative person, I never left any film unfinished. Since I couldn’t go, I ate a bucket of popcorn during the movie out of boredom. Jordan Peele is to blame for my calories.
Let’s talk about it briefly… The Haywood family owns a farm that has been in the industry for many years, renting the horses they raised to the movies and ensuring that they appear safely in the films. One day, when father Otis dies due to objects falling from the sky, big brother Otis Junior becomes the business owner. But he won’t be able to run the business either because something hidden in the sky, among the clouds, is haunting his farm, stealing his horses. Thinking that what he’s seeing is a UFO, Otis tries to capture the image of this plate-shaped creature with his sister Emerald. But this thing doesn’t like being photographed.
Nope is an excellent movie that tries to bring a difference to the alien invader theme, is quite interesting as a subject, and even manages to process the mystery to your bones. But it has a serious problem. The process is so tedious. The fact that the created mystery cannot be fed with enough action, the fictional cuts made by the director during the action, the serious disconnection-absurdities in the dialogues, and the use of clichés prevent the movie from being watched linearly without getting bored. In particular, the need to resort to clichés undermines the film’s realism. For example, the mantis blocks the camera at the moment of the action, and running out of film in the middle of everything is definitely cliches for “continuation of the story.” On top of that, Antlers throwing himself up, getting killed, and causing more conflict cannot be explained with any motivation. He is a cinematographer; he could die for the perfect light is not a rational explanation nor convincing at all.
Jordan Peele is in front of us with a film that is much tidier in mathematics compared to his other films. All of the objects that enter the frame in the movie appear in some way afterward. A few minutes after the scene where Emerald -accidentally- photo bombs the children, we see a movie poster next to Jupe’s door with 3 people looking into the well. Everything that will happen in the movie is shown to us in advance, including the balloon scene in the finale. Although the director’s way of exposition the story is pleasant and he makes the shootings so enjoyable, unfortunately, the process, especially editing, is not at the pace to match the story’s creativity. However, the movie also has a sound mix that is so successful that it makes your chest hurt when you watch it in the IMAX theater.
Along with the movie’s last scenes, the most beautiful part is the parts of Gordy. This frightening sequence with the theme that you can never tame a wild animal actually prepares us for the finale with the balloons exploding in it. The film, which often focuses on the word taming, says that creatures can be tamed up to a certain point but never wholly owned. All the horses we see throughout the movie have been tamed, but they all return to their nature after a certain point or in a sudden situation. And this return can be as quick as the snap of a finger. Jupe thought he had tamed Jean Jacket. Until that “certain point” comes.
Keke Palmer definitely has some stellar energy. She has the power to carry a movie alone. It would be nice if she could stay away from the “I’m Keke Palmer”-themed chatter. But I cannot say the same for Daniel Kaluuya. I know that he is a pleasant person in his daily life. But he always plays the same cold, low-spoken character in every movie. And when a mumbling man like Antlers is added to the story, a film that turns into a pain to watch emerges. I could have praised the movie even more if it weren’t for the “artistic” cuts in the action moments. But the director always needed to intervene and say, “Look, I’m here.” This blocked both the story and the actors.
To sum it up… Nope is a dull film that progresses boringly because an idea with potential is undermined by the director. Although the director moved away from his classic themes and tried something different, he kept his slow-paced approach as in his other films. But this time, by interfering in the editing room and establishing non-flowing dialogues, he caused the film to be enjoyable not as a whole but as partly cloudy. If he wouldn’t be involved in the action, and let it slide linearly, watching Nope could have been much more enjoyable.
Cast & Crew
director: Jordan Peele
writers: Jordan Peele
starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, Steven Yeun
USA | 2020 | 130 MINUTES |