‘Nope’ centers on cinema


Elle Myers, Staff Writer, Assistant Opinion Editor

Jordan Peele released his third directed film, “Nope,” satisfying the insatiable desire for a great scare. Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, this science fiction horror film will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Divided into five chapters, “Nope” is about the horse-wrangling Haywood siblings, OJ and Emerald Haywood. After a nickel fell from the sky and killed their father, the siblings tried to find answers to his mysterious passing. One night, they eerily lose power, forcing them to look up at the sky, where they notice an unmoving cloud which makes them wonder if their father’s death was extraterrestrial.

Slowly, the Haywood siblings believe the answer lies in the unexplainable presence of a UFO. When trying to capture the UFO, they discover more about it–most notably, its hunger for living objects. Jupe, played by Steven Yeun, is a washed up child actor turned carnival host who also tries to catch the extraterrestrial being after a fateful encounter during his younger days. Without giving too much away, the movie results in the Haywood siblings finding the “Oprah shot” they have been looking for.

Now, let’s get into the reason everyone watches Jordan Peele films: symbolism. It’s no shocker that “Nope” was embedded with symbolism after seeing Peele’s “Get Out” in 2017 and “Us” in 2019. After watching “Nope” twice, I still find it difficult to understand the subtly added symbolism. However, I believe it adds depth to his films, especially “Nope.”

One of the major themes in “Nope” is the influence of cinema. Throughout the movie, the Haywood siblings and their co-conspirators try to capture a photo of the UFO in spite of knowing how deadly it is. Gaining an “Oprah shot” of the UFO will not only make them money but also notoriety. The lure of fame and success further pushes the influence of cinema.

“Get Out” can be easily understood without the explanation of underlying themes. In “Get Out,” the themes are clearly race and betrayal. However, in “Nope,” the line is not as evident. Without the understanding, audiences would enjoy a cute movie about a man taking a picture of a UFO.

Another notable aspect of the film was the powerful acting. Daniel Kaluuya, who also stars in “Get Out,” gave another astonishing performance, playing the role of heroic OJ Haywood. Sitting in the movie theater, you can feel his guttural cries as he tries to save his sister. Similar to Kaluuya’s performance, Keke Palmer, who plays the role of Emerald Haywood, gave audiences a humorous performance while she finishes her long and strenuous journey. These impressive performances add depth to an already magnificent film.

“Nope” is one of the best movies I’ve watched since “Us.” Peele has proven his film capabilities once again, and this film is arguably his best film to date. “Nope” is currently in theaters and on Amazon Prime.