STARRING: KEKE PALMER, DANIEL KALUUYA, STEVEN YEUN, BRANDON PEREA AND MICHAEL WINCOTT
DIRECTED BY: JORDAN PEELE
RELEASE DATE: JULY 18, 2022
After two massive successes with the movies “Get Out” and “US”, Jordan Peele uses his filmmaking and directorial skills to produce yet another psychologically twisted film. With a $68 million dollar budget and stars such as Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Steven Yeun, Peele wrote, directed, and produced “NOPE”. The film was released on July 18th, 2022, and was distributed by Universal Pictures with Monkeypaw Productions being its distribution company. Thus far “NOPE” has made $160.1 million dollars at the box office.
The movie opens with a flashback of Gordy, a popular TV personality who also happens to be a monkey. It’s a quick scene lasting no more than five minutes, but it leaves viewers with a spine-chilling feeling that they won’t let go of even after the movie has ended. The scene afterwards cuts to present-day. Taking place in Southern California, two siblings, OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer), inherit the family ranch after the suspicious death of their father. Their father, Otis Haywood (Keith David), spent his life raising and training horses for television production. It’s when OJ continues his father’s business that he and his sister discover an eerie watcher lurking in the skies above them. As they try to learn what the mysterious entity is, the owner of a neighboring amusement park attempts to figure it out as well while trying to profit from its existence.
If one were to take this film in a literal context by dissecting each scene from just what they see and not what the film means metaphorically, they could miss the overall message Peele so easily conveyed. Of course, there was an alien/mysterious being and of course there was a random monkey named Gordy but what correlation is there between the two? Why did Peele make this movie and what was he trying to portray through this film? Was it a movie displaying our addictions to spectacles or fascinations? Mankind can go so far as to risk their lives just for spectacles, performances, shows, etc. It is our obsession and compulsion towards the nature of attention that could very well be our downfall.
Speaking in terms of attention, OJ and Emerald were reunited by their fascination towards the alien. They spent the entirety of the film discovering the alien, but it was also spent in the company of each other. The nature of attention is very deceptive and the time it took paying attention to the alien mended their relationship without them noticing it. It took a catastrophic event and their undivided attention on a celestial being to heal their relationship.