If you are a fan of minimalism and also prefer content over grandeur, I think the new Jordan Peele science fiction will impress you a lot. Nope from the Get Out director knows how to hold the viewer’s interest without slipping into the conventional jump scares and cliched character tropes. More than the scale, it is the imagination that impresses you, and even the silliness of the winning moment somewhere works in favor of the movie.
OJ, aka Otis Jr., is running this horse supplying company for film and television productions. He took over the business after his father had an unusual death. The business wasn’t going smoothly, and OJ and his sister Em badly needed money. OJ notices the presence of a UFO in their locality, and the siblings decide to videotape the whole thing. What all traumatic things unfold during that process is what we see in Nope.
Even though it is a sci-fi horror film, there are moments in this film with a layer of humor attached. One of them is when OJ says the title of the movie – Nope. When this UFO comes right above his head, he is tempted to look at it, but OJ says, “Nope” It was almost like a spoofy suggestion from Peele to those who write horror films to make the characters behave more practically. The fascinating angle of Nope is when you approach it as a cinephile. A backstory involving a Chimpanzee is placed cleverly to make the whole thing look like a recurring event.
Written by Jordan Peele, it’s interesting how he makes the movie scary without necessarily trying to make the visuals gory. The visual effects elements of the movie are so minimal you would feel even a regional industry in India could pull off something like this if the writers were imaginative. From the curiosity of two siblings to capture a spectacle to realizing the fact they are in a dangerous situation, the screenplay of Nope goes back and forth in terms of its emotional tone.
Jordan Peele also incorporates many of the visual media elements in the screenplay. Television shows of the ’80s, the current Hollywood, digital cameras, and analog cameras are all part of the narrative. Hoyte Van Hoytema uses the dryness and vastness of the landscape to create a unique visual language for the film. The very patient cuts by Nicholas Monsour make sure that you are always interested in the proceedings.
Daniel Kaluuya underplays Otis Jr. From the beginning itself, he gives us this vibe that OJ is that rational guy whose POV will align with the audience. Keke Palmer as the loud and fun Em was convincing. Steven Yeun plays the role of Ricky- Gordy’s home guy. Brandon Perea and Michael Wincott play the other two major characters in the film.
In terms of craft and imagination, Nope is an oddly satisfying experience. Jordan Peele uses jump scares only on a couple of occasions, and most of the time, what scares you is the mystery and unpredictability of the saucer. Unlike other films that treat horror in a night setup, Jordan Peele prefers to show the action in broad daylight, and such differences in many aspects make Nope an exciting idea.
Unlike other films that treat horror in a night setup, Jordan Peele prefers to show the action in broad daylight, and such differences in many aspects make Nope an exciting idea.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended