Glass Onion: Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc is a cut above Hollywood’s usual insipid queerbaiting

Everyone loves secrets. That is the central excitement of whodunnit after all. Tell the audience that there is a murder, catch a group of architects changing in a room and just keep pulling the strings until the whole thing goes away. It’s an old-fashioned kind of story that has gone through an unlikely comeback in recent years with Rian Johnson’s erotic puzzles in 2019 Knife out Sit among such efforts Murder on Orient Express, Murder Secrets And See how they run On top of the whodunnaissance. But Johnson knows that when it comes to things like the sexual identity of your main character in a stunning new film – the mystery will not cut it out.

Knife out Sees Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, a Southern private eye-catcher brought to bear on the murder of a wealthy crime novelist. Sticking to a long tradition of preternatural screen sleuths from Sherlock to Columbo, Blanc (partly through Craig’s hilarious character), however, he managed to establish himself as a split and creative character. Decent tree. This week sees Blanc return Glass Onion: A Knife Out of MysteryWhich is an exclusive sequel featuring characters against a whole new set of potential killers. In the film, Blanc is revealed to be living with another man (played on camera by a famous actor). At a press conference ahead of the film festival opening last month, screenwriter Johnson was asked if the character was a fantasy. “Yes, he is clear,” the reply came.

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Now on its surface, this post seems to be another re-enactment of the empty and effective “representative” trend that abounds in the major media. (It is often called “queerbaiting”.) You see it happen again and again: the filmmaker or the actor will declare this popular character or that popular character while Refuse to make this clear in the work itself. Think of Donald Glover Lando Calrissian’s “gay” story in Solo: Star Wars. Deadpool film by Ryan Reynolds. Marvel’s Loki, the on-screen homosexuality so far, has become a must-have conversation Discarded. Even lesser-known films have tried to get into a rush: does anyone remember Jack Whitehall’s shameful attempt at a Disney comedy? Jungle Excursions? It’s a real epidemic in the general film industry: the studio wants a compliment of progress (and the money that flows out of it), but does not want to risk it with a focus. Then Glass onion Really different, right?

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Well, it probably is not. It is true that the film does not affect Blanc sex. His partner can be easily cut off as a roommate. Like everyone else, this person calls him “Blanc”, which is humorous but also contemptuous. Tricks, too. However, Blanc’s sensitivity is on the screen to some degree: the way he dresses (especially in this sad Greek island drama) and the level of potential of his personal relationships. Glass onion It may seem like another element from the queerbaiting Hollywood comic book, but yes I want to argue something different from Blanc. He reads like a queer in a way that says Deadpool is not.

Probably the thing that distinguishes him from the queer characters, empty gestures in movies like Deadpool Or Thor: Love and Thunder Just the fact that he writes well. Blanc is a different character and thoughtfully created; Despite the contribution of Glass onionIn your plot, you always have a clear understanding of Blanc’s personality and his values. The problem with Deadpool or Lando Calrissian, which is supposed to be chaotic, is that they do not feel like humans at all. It’s not that they look straightforward, but that they have no sex at all: they are crazy quip-sharing machines that hide computer graphics. If all I was looking at was a man firing a laser into the debris while saying, “So That. Just happened. ”I can not care what their sexual desire is, to be honest.

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It is understood that in Benoit Blanc we are seeing an increase in original movie characters with real long-term potential. In an industry full of monopoly and adaptation – where “existing IP” is not just a rumor, but an entire corporate religion – Knife out Is rare, a completely original commercial offensive. When the news broke that Netflix was spending $ 450 million on a sequel, it could be seen as an inspiration to the modern “bleed-’em-dry” brand ethic. Instead, it was hailed as a blessing: Johnson and Craig had a good time, and who knew where it could go?

Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig in “Knives Out”

(Claire Folger)

Blanc follows a long tradition of screenplay, featuring some of the most beloved and long-standing characters in fiction: figures such as Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or Columbo. They are all straight. (In 2015, Benedict Cumberbatch suggested that his version of Sherlock could be gay, although the idea was quickly abandoned.) Blanc sex may be what sets him apart – no. Not his only defining feature, but maybe A A definition.

Finally, shocking representation is being hampered by some stubborn reality of the modern film industry – at least indifferent to sex in general. Those who do not speak will certainly not change anything about it. But who knows? About 30 years from now, Benoit Blanc will be a household name. For now, at least we do with what we get, which is an exciting suggestion that honesty in popular fiction no longer feels like the default.

‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is available in theaters until November 29, before arriving on Netflix on December 23.

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