This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
cookie’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
on the rewatch i noticed daniel kaluuya’s character communicating to people the way one typically communicates w an animal – clicking his tongue, slapping his leg, that sorta thing. he knows animals better than he knows people – what a horse needs in order to feel safe on set, but struggling to communicate that effectively to crew + talent. so when this territorial predator shows up in his backyard, he has the smarts to avoid its gaze; the gut instinct to grovel before it like the god-that-swallows-spectators-whole it is. this alien that feeds on audiences and shits out what it can’t digest – keys + coins + pearl necklaces – all over his home. and the farmhouse cries blood.
steven yeun’s character has almost an opposite relationship with animals entirely. they work for him, not with him. he’s so compelling because he’s got this deep-seeded trauma he’s unable to talk directly about unless filtering it thru the secondhand experience of an SNL sketch. we all do this to an extent, the humor to cope thing. when his mind wanders off and he unwittingly revisits that traumatic memory, he seems to go as far away as the persistent flashback he’s suppressing. “earth to jupe” moment. yeun nails that thousand-yard stare – the one right before jupe’s wife pulls him out of his dissociative state. his subconscious movement to make a spectacle of a spectacle-averse alien who hides in the clouds maybe comes from a place of “i couldnt conquer Gordy but maybe i can conquer this now.” a second chance that proves he didnt learn why he was spared the first time around. Gordy wasn’t to be conquered. he puts this otherworldly creature to work for Jupiter’s Claim, has it performing for a crowd like a dolphin at the Shedd, and gets what’s coming to him. karsten has a theory about how Gordy was an alien all along (!) which also tracks with the themes of revenge.
how do you “capture” a thing without hurting it or yourself? how do you respect something enough to get what you want from it, but it still bends to your will? interesting movie for anyone working on controlling their control issues, lol. OJ and jupe are like two sides of the same coin. the latter gets eaten, the former gets shat on, circle of life. TMZ guy never stood a fucking chance