What is the meaning of Jordan Peele’s “Nope” & Is it worth looking for in it at all meaning? Sci-fi film by Jordan Peele. His last movie “Us“ turned out to be ambiguous and I certainly liked its possible meaning. Let’s see what we came up with this time. Although I must say that the reviews of the audience for the most part are either none, or negative.
The complexities of a family business
OJ ( “Get Out” by Daniel Kaluuya ) lives with his father and sister on a ranch where horses are bred and trained for filming Hollywood movies. Somehow in broad daylight a mysterious incident occurs during which the father dies. Six months later, OJ and his sister Emerald are trying to replace their father on the set, but the very first tests are extremely unsuccessful.
Because OJ decides to sell the horses. The fact is that he understands what to do with his father’s business, and secondly, his sister is not eager to participate in the common cause. She advertises herself as a beloved, and she doesn’t give a damn about her brother, and especially horses. So OJ starts selling horses to former actor Ricky “Jupe” Park, who has his own show.
I must say that Emerald is a talkative, narrow-minded, and sometimes frankly goofy lesbian who is still experiencing childhood insults and sometimes fucks with her psychologist woman. Although it is not at all clear why such revelations. And she is ready to do anything for a shoal of grass. In contrast to her, brother OJ is calm and even sullen, not talkative, but active.
And then one evening they smoked, remembered the past, and then they saw something slender on the field. Possibly a UFO. This is where a great idea comes in. If you manage to photograph the object, you can sell it for a lot of money. Because the first thing they buy cameras. In the store, they meet a chatty salesman, Angel, who begins to help them. On the first night, they actually observe some object in the sky.
The following is the story of Ricky “Jupa”. In his youth, he starred in a sitcom and witnessed the tragedy. Monkey Gordy killed seven people on set before being shot. If this is taken from real life, then the story is just tin. It’s even scary to think how many people actually die while filming a movie.
Joop now puts on shows with his wife and children and talks about the aliens that are watching us. Moreover, Joop is sure that the alien is very close and using the horse, he is trying to lure him out. And he succeeds. A flying saucer actually appears from the clouds and absorbs everyone who was at the show.
OJ believes that this is not a flying object of artificial origin, but a living entity that feeds on biological life. And most likely, like any animal, she defends her territory and seems to believe that this is her home. Really bloody rain begins at night. This entity digests people.
Previously, Emerald has already turned to a cool cameraman who shoots unreal things. He considered her story nonsense and refused. However, when he learned that something similar, the disappearance of people and heavy rains, was happening in other places, he himself came to the ranch. Later, he even deliberately fell into the mouth of the creature in order to remove everything from the inside. That’s passion for work!
Together they decide how to lure the entity out and not fall into its mouth. OJ, by the way, finds out that if you do not look at an alien creature, then it will not eat you. He even names the creature Jeans. The heroes set up a trap, but then some blogger arrives inopportunely and finds himself in an anti-electric field. OJ tried to save him, but nearly died himself. I had to quit.
In the end, Jeans shows itself in all its glory. It’s not just a disk, it’s a huge thing, more like … probably a butterfly. OJ, trying to save his sister, sacrifices himself, and Emerald feeds the creature a huge inflatable toy and it explodes inside her. And then there are the journalists. Oh Jay, by the way, survived. Curtain.
Why Nope and not No?
Get Out and Us director Jordan Peele has one thing in common with Alex Garland and, for example, the game studio Playdead. They do not explain the meaning of their works, leaving fans with an almost endless scope for interpretation.
In the case of Nope, this is especially important, because even one film title can be talked about for a long time. “Nope” is not “No”, but rather “No” – a longer and more informal negation, which in English is often considered less rude than a sharp “No”.
Is there any special meaning hidden in the word “Nope”? Probably not, but the main characters repeat it for almost the entire film in various situations where they need to do something dangerous, and they are suddenly like: “Nope, I’d rather stay where I am, I actually want to live.”
At the same time, fans on Reddit are sure that NOPE is generally an abbreviation that is revealed as Not On Planet Earth. It is not for nothing that the heroes themselves joke that the US authorities are constantly changing the terms for describing UFOs in order to confuse everyone.
Thus, Nope on the poster seems to say absolutely nothing, but at the same time draws a line under everything that happens on the screen.
What happens on the surface?
If you don’t want to go too deep into allusions and references, then you can think of Nope as a movie in the vein of Signs or Jaws. This is a classic summer blockbuster where several heroes come together to hunt a monster. It’s also arguably the most inventive UFO movie since Arrivals.
After the mysterious death of his father, Ojay Haywood (a consonance with O.J. Simpson – a through joke of the film) and Emerald Haywood inherit his dying business – a ranch with horses that are used on filming in Hollywood.
When the time comes to gradually get rid of the animals and the earth itself, the brother and sister notice a UFO in the sky and decide to shoot it in the highest quality way – so that no one can refute these shots, and Oprah herself invited them to her show.
What happens next in the frame is really a classic horror about a creepy monster that gets more and more brutal with time. And if you see a movie exclusively in this way, then you will get a lot of pleasure from it. Peel is skillfully scary for the entire two hours, and the picture taken by the operator of Interstellar and Specter is worthy of the biggest screen you can find.
What happens if you dig deeper?
Yes, perhaps these are the very “blue curtains”, but there are enough scenes in Nope that at first glance do not fit too well into the main narrative to consider that Peel was still trying to make his picture deliberately about something . Below I will offer some of the main interpretations of the film that are found on the net.
- This movie is about the fact that nature cannot be subdued . That is why there is not one, but many animals at the center of the story – horses, a killer chimpanzee from flashbacks, and, in fact, the title monster itself . In all three cases, people are trying to extract some benefit from nature, which inevitably leads to disaster. This is also indicated by the longest scene involving a chimpanzee who staged a massacre on the set of the series. In it, the little boy is saved by the lack of direct visual contact with the beast – his shocked mind is fixated on the shoe of the dead actress, as if hovering in the air, and this is what saves his life. This idea is also developed in the main part of the picture.
- This is a love letter to Hollywood and cinema in general . The film begins with a story about a horse, the first black person ever captured on film. The main characters introduce themselves as his relatives and until the very end they try to film the monster, and not kill it. They believe in the power of cinema and its ability to go hand in hand with the discovery of the unknown secrets of the world around us. Not without reason, almost all the characters in the picture are somehow connected with Hollywood or the entertainment industry, and Jordan Peele copies the style of classic westerns more than once or twice. The director himself said that, first of all, he wanted to make a spectacle, and his characters exist in constant pursuit of this very spectacle.
- But Peel also criticizes Hollywood . For example, admiration for a dark-skinned horse is overshadowed by the fact that the whole world has forgotten his name, but the horse’s name, for example, is known . That is why the story centers on two dark-skinned characters who desperately want to write their names into the history of cinema. And many key characters make colossal sacrifices for the sake of creating entertainment for others, for the sake of their own moment of glory. The same situation with chimpanzees ends tragically for all the viewers involved, but over time, the death of real people on the site becomes entertainment – based on this story, they begin to make merchandise, and Ricky Park (Stephen Yan’s hero) commercializes the tragedy.
- This is a movie about surveillance and protecting privacy . If desired, Nope could be called “Don’t look up”, but this name is already taken. If the main characters’ goal is to capture the monster, then the monster itself, no matter how strange it may sound, is trying to keep its life a secret. It does not even seek to kill those who do not look at it. Here, as in the case of Hollywood, Peele seems to deliberately give the viewer conflicting signals. On the one hand, for two hours he shows in the most terrible form what a violation of privacy can lead to, and on the other hand, the heroes turn on their cameras, including to protect themselves – to capture the monster in the best way so that the world around them cannot dismiss them.
Or maybe Peel just scoffs at all the horror “with meaning”?
The beauty of Nope is that you don’t need any context to view it. Because first of all, it’s just a high-quality Hollywood movie about hunting an alien, which the big screen has never seen before.
Peel is playing on the grounds of Steven Spielberg, who often liked to create a sense of discovery in his films – it’s not for nothing that Nope is constantly compared to Jaws, and the film is described as the triumphant return of the great American UFO movie.
Yes, Nope has additional layers of storytelling, but in this case they exist as an add-on to the main entertainment and seem to conflict with each other. The cameras in Nope are both a weapon and a means of protection, Hollywood is both a capitalist evil and the only means of saving this world, and Peel himself scolds the dominance of CGI in the cinema, but makes his villain so bright precisely thanks to computer graphics.
As a result, we get a kind of deconstruction of horror “with meaning”. As soon as the viewer grabs some movie idea, Peel immediately answers him: “NOPE”.
What is the result. Impressions from the film are very ambiguous. The first half is terribly boring. It could be cut in half, it would only benefit. The main action begins approximately from the middle. Why a lesbian sister was shoved into the plot is not clear. Nothing would have changed at all if she had a normal orientation. It seems that this is a direct condition for passing to the screens.
As for the title. Jordan Peele obviously loves short and meaningful ones that can be summed up with a lot of things. In my opinion, in this case, it’s not just “no”, but rather “can’t be”. That is, the situation is generally unrealistic. It is possible that this film is the answer to Don’t Look Up . No wonder the heroes repeat that if you do not look at the creature, it will not notice you. Or maybe “no” is the answer of a creature that has been trying to devour us for a long time? In conclusion, an analysis of the film, which will still throw thoughts for thought.