Six months after his father’s death in a ridiculous accident, brother and sister, Ojai and Emerald, are trying to keep the family business – a ranch with horses for movie and commercial shoots – afloat. Things are going from bad to worse, some of the animals have had to be sold, and Ojai is already thinking of getting rid of the ranch, when suddenly he notices a UFO in the vicinity. The guys see it as a money-making opportunity and decide to film it at all costs.
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When I started watching the film, I thought I was going to get another pseudo-intellectual film that would end up being mediocre. But as soon as I remembered who the director was, I knew right away that I would spend the next two hours with surprise on my face, because I had a new canvas of a Hitchcock and old movies fan, a horror movie buff or the best horror movie director of the last 20 years – Jordan Peele. If you still doubt my last words, right now I will try to change your mind.
The message of the film is that to strive for more money and to dominate someone is a horror, that one should set oneself a much higher, more important goal. That’s why in this movie all the people who strive for more profits die, some literally die for money
The film begins with the sound of a TV series filming a monkey being exploited. Not surprisingly, the monkey went wild, as it was only needed to make more new episodes of the sitcom, which are usually filmed not for the amazing story or meaning, but just for the money.
Grown-up actor Ricky (aka Joop), instead of respecting the tragedy that took place during the filming, makes a museum out of it and makes money from it. In addition, he manages to make money from horses and shows with them, which the main characters struggle to do. It is understandable that something bad will happen to such a greedy character, because as I said earlier, that is the logic and message of the film.
The main protagonists, a brother and a sister, have a father who dies, and the only information we are given about him is a short dialog from which we learn that their father was similarly aiming for more profit and nothing more. Now it is up to them to find different ways to make money. They are driven by the desire to become above a certain class of people and live in comfort. Again, in their attempts to film a flying object and make money from it, our heroes waver on the brink of death. Near the end, their motivation changes, but whether it helps, you’ll see for yourself.
Humans exploit monkeys, horses, and other animals, but the film says, what if there is someone above humans, someone who will use and terrorize them themselves? Scenes or dialogue about predators in the wild are glimpsed more than once in the film, and more attentive viewers will even notice animal carcasses as scenery. Through this, as well as a frightening UFO, the theme of domination is touched upon. We are asked, why should we be dominated? Do we enjoy having a creature as powerful as we are capable of uniting ourselves? Do you really need a lot of money, just to belittle it? Even to fight something flying protagonists use far not the most modern means on the type of electricity, quality cameras, radios, but something older such as gestures, horses, etc. In this way the boundaries of hierarchy are blurred in front of us, because now we understand that even something old, no longer needed, decrepit, can be many times more effective than something new.
Jordan Peele himself pays tribute to old cinema in this picture. He uses real sets and costumes. It was live action that built the whole huge park and ranch, just like in the old movies, not on green screens like they do now. In addition, the siblings’ last names are Haywood, which is consonant and similar in spelling to Hollywood, and the name of that same sitcom actor Rick “Jupe” Park, which is very reminiscent of Jurassic Park, where a similar theme with domination was involved. The name of the man who helped set up the cameras and literally controlled the sky all the time is Angel, and the name of the monkey and his TV series of the same name Gordy reminds me a lot of the Disney movie of the same name which used a live pig as a protagonist.
I can praise this movie a lot, but I decided to touch upon the literary part of the story, which I think is the most important and which leads to many questions and misunderstandings. If I failed to convince you and prove that the movie is great, you can keep your opinion. The director has made a great film that is capable of intrigue, but the huge presence of metaphors and lack of “lively” dialogue between the characters is misleading and makes the average viewer yawn. There’s nothing wrong with that, because you don’t have to put your own opinion above the other, you have to sometimes try to tell your inner superiority – no.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (60.8 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1, 2.20:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.20:1
English: Dolby TrueHD with Dolby Atmos 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French, Spanish.