Yep Nope is one helluva film

There’s a scene in Nope where a detached shop assistant watches a colleague in an utter panic moment. She stands, chomping Cheetos (I think), and observes. It’s just how I want my movies (and life maybe) – sometimes you want a movie that has you at the edge of your seat engaged and emotional; and sometimes you just wanna sit back and watch the narrative unfold.

Anyway, Nope is the latter for me. It’s a visual spectacular. The UAP (aka UFO) is the star of the movie: ots fluidity and ever-changing shape is mesmerising. It’s also largely metaphoric for while it does its thing, the humans are rushing around like eejits doing all sorts of weird things to stop themselves from being consumed. Hands up if this sounds like your life.

Nope starts with one of cinema’s most intriguing scenes – there’s an empty-ish tv recording studio, applause light flashing, there’s a trashed stage and there’s a monkey. Jump shot to a Haywood’s Hollywood horse-farm somewhere in an uber dry California.

The acting is a little uneven at the start, as are the scenes – it seems more like a series of set pieces as the narrative takes us normal farm to chaotic farm. Keke Palmer is the over-the-top wanna be actor, Emerald, distancing herself from the family business; her first scene is a little over the top, it’s meant to be but.. Daniel Kaluuya (Otis Jnr) is her sibling opposite; he’s the quiet horse wrangler trying to keep Hollywood Horses a going concern. Nope slides into its pace when we’re not on a film set but when we’re on Hollywood Horses farm. Metaphor much?

Now I’m not saying the narrative is totally smooth – I missed or misunderstood the logic that threads the monkey madness with the UAP’s focus on Haywood’s farm. I mean, I got the basics, but I missed exactly WHY. But you know what, I really don’t care. And that’s the beauty of Nope. It has a UAP unlike any that’s been posited on screen; it is more than an ‘object’- so what is it?

I applaud Jordan Peele for his utter imagination. I was, and still am, too fascinated by Nope’s layers of meaning: eyes/watching; relationships: familial, land and animals, Earth and the universe at large; control and chaos etc etc. It’s time for me to revisit the Peele canon.

Nope must be seen on the largest screen you can put yourself in front of. And don’t forget the popcorn.

Opened 11 August

2 hrs 15 minutes

Rating: M