Jordan Peele’s “Nope” delivers a new-age horror movie that carries a symbolic message

Jordan Peeles Nope transports viewers to a sci-fi world never seen before,

Udita Jonnala

Jordan Peele’s Nope transports viewers to a sci-fi world never seen before,

Jordan Peele’s “Nope” released on July 22, 2022, starring Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya, transports viewers to a sci-fi-filled ride that carries a deeper meaning. The movie starts off with sharing the day-to-day lives of OJ and Emerald, two siblings carrying out their father’s legacy as a Hollywood horse trainer. Short for Otis Jr, OJ is a modern-day cowboy, who’s hard-headed and stubborn with a strong work ethic to earn money. Emerald, on the other hand, is a bright, extroverted woman who is an aspiring director, singer, and actress trying to find her way on the big screen. Together, they own a large ranch with an even bigger victorian-style house miles away from any other houses, secluded in their own safety. That safety crumbles when OJ starts noticing the strange, unsettling things happening on the ranch. 

“Nope” doesn’t hesitate to build tension for the audience throughout the movie. Jordan Peele the elements of the movie in a slow manner, which gives the audience something to crave for in the next scene. During the first ten minutes of the movie, Daniel Kaluuya plays his part wonderfully as he fully embraces himself as his character. As an inexpressive, independent cowboy his acting focuses on the slight variations in the face, which brings a more realistic depth to the movie. 

Tensions rise in the farm when OJ witnesses things that are disturbing for his close-minded personality. As they witness horses making weird, guttural noises, unexpected weather patterns, power outages, the distortion of music, and complete, blank silence; OJ and Emerald are convinced that there is an otherworldly force controlling all these events. With the situation of their family business going downhill, they hope to make the money shot by capturing an alien or a UFO that OJ had witnessed. 

As OJ and Emerald’s storyline continues, Jordan Peele introduces other plots to create a perfect harmony of mystery and unexpectedness. After introducing every character, a new chapter opens in the story, which all comes back to connect in the end. 

The plot opens up to introduce Jupe, a famous child star who has stepped out of fame when OJ tries to sell him a horse. The plot broadens with Jupe as his trauma from a past acting job is shown in clips throughout the film, which lets the audience fully understand the intentions of him and the other character. This is another example of how Peele slowly and deliberately includes more and more information to let the viewers go from surface-level perception of the character to a deeper understanding of their intentions. 

The directing and the environment in the movie are mostly what add to thickening the plot and creating more suspense. Peele focuses on small symbolic elements, and even when there is chaos happening in the background, the little aspects and details he chooses to bring to the screen add a much richer value to the overall meaning of the film.  Peele also plays with the environment of the movie, by creating a depressed, isolated tone. The setting of the film, with the yellow hills surrounding their ranch, creates an unknown sense of being watched. The dialogue in the film is dry, cynical and sarcastic in its own way, and feels realistic when considering how someone from such a town would react. The casting for the film is very relevant and the actors do a wonderful job in adding to the tense environment the directing already upholds. 

The film’s visuals are breathtaking as the plot continues to show bits and pieces of beautiful directing. As the plot thickens with multiple attempts of Emerald and OJ trying to get the alien on camera and none of them works. An incident in town that got covered on every TV site, where 40 people watching Jude’s show go missing, the search to get the footage heightens. The last ten minutes of the movie are well written. Each part has sudden plot twists and characters that evolve and do unexpected things. Even the UFO changes its form into a beautiful but haunting spectacle for the audience. The film raises its tempo at the end with a reflection of the meaning behind the movie as a whole. 

Jordan Peele portrays the true meaning behind the whole story, as it embraces how in today’s day and age everything is a spectacle. Everyone wants attention in some form and exploits others such as animals and black creators for content. Jordan Peele ends the movie with an ominous message about the overall role of entertainment and the lengths we go to pursue it.