Jordan Pele became extremely well known after the box office success of his directorial debut in 2017, get out, and for his acclaimed horror film two years later, WE. Here he is back this year with another must-see, the sci-fi horror film Nope, which had the highest opening weekend of an original film.
Peele is now well recognized as one of the greatest horror directors of recent years, and is known for being extremely metaphorical with his storytelling and for leaving the audience to their own imaginations most of the time (especially with WE, where there was much speculation among fans as to how the ending might be interpreted). Sure enough, Nope followed suit with symbolism and allegorical substance, although this time his film caused everyone to question the film’s plot and themes, sometimes with frustration and disappointment.
Explain No, if possible
Before discussing the divisions around the film, let’s introduce Nope a little. Peele once again has an excellent cast for the film, which saw the reunion of Peele and the star of get out, Daniel Kaluuya, who has forged a fantastic reputation (and an Oscar). Kaluuya plays OJ Haywood in Nopewhich follows two siblings who run a horse ranch in California (with great Keke Palmer, who was most recently at Light year, as OJ’s sister); after their father dies, the brother and sister discover something quite sinister lurking in the sky. Meanwhile, there’s a ’90s sitcom, a chimp, and a ridiculous cinematographer.
Sure, as you’d expect from Peele, his film had some good scares, funny moments, and incredible imagery, but audiences weren’t ready to be as confused and in the dark as this film made them feel. . There is certainly a difference of opinion about the ending and meaning of this film, just like in WE and its versions of The twilight zone and candy manbut could Nope to be his most divisive and polarizing film to date?
Is Nope too confusing?
With the release of Nope, viewers are still not sure what they just saw and if they even liked it; it seems like everyone who’s seen the movie has a different opinion about it, but Peele always tends to keep his cards pretty close to his chest when it comes to explaining the meaning of his movies.
While some of us love this about Peele’s work, it has generated anger and confusion in others. We lived this experience with WEso we’re used to the feeling of ‘leave it to our imagination’ and ‘it means whatever we want it to mean’, but there’s something slightly ‘offbeat’, mysterious and totally confusing about Nope, with more questions than ever. What is the alien, and what is it for? What’s the chimpanzee got to do with it? What was with that TMZ reporter, and that stupid big ball at the end? Why did the alien turn into complicated celestial origami? And what does that mean? Are these angry fans finally tired of his metaphor and open endings?
Perhaps we’re more interested in what Peele himself believes and was thinking during the filmmaking process, but he doesn’t seem to say much. Everyone talks about Nope, but nobody knows what to say. The movie’s happiest fans seem to be split into two camps: those who like to speculate and pontificate about intellectual meanings and symbolism, and those who would rather just go to the theater, sit down, watch a movie and enjoy it without having to focus on what it all means.
Fans give Nope a huge “Yep!”
Whichever side we’re all on, there’s no denying that Peele’s designs are works of art, not just technically and visually, but in the sense that he leaves us with a lot to tell. It’s surely every writer’s, director’s and filmmaker’s dream to have so many people talking about your film – and it’s certainly their intention. Much to Peele’s delight, it pays off, with the audience discussing Nope on everything from YouTube to NPR; fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts and feelings on what to expect, with reviews like this:
No matter division and polarization Nope is, Peele has had an interesting and exciting few years with his film and television outings, making one of the sharpest turns a comedian has taken in dramatic work. He’s gained incredible support, and while not all of the audience reactions have been positive, fans are still eager to see what to expect from his future films.