Glass Onion – A Knives Out Mystery is the second installment of the Knives Out movie franchise. Released on Netflix in December 2022 and starring Daniel Craig again as the best detective in the world, Benoit Blanc. The film shows an intricate plot, where at some point, we start discovering that things are not how we believed them, from many points of view. There is an explanation for the plot, of course, and many articles on the Internet have provided it. But another question pops up in viewers’ minds: why just “Glass Onion”? What is the movie title about, and what’s its real meaning? In this article, we will provide the fascinating answer to this question.
You can watch the official trailer for Glass Onion here on Youtube.
Glass Onion, the movie title explained: what’s its meaning, and what is it about?
The movie title, Glass Onion, is a sophisticated reference to the habit many people have to over-analyze things, assuming there is a secret, hidden meaning behind them. The expression became popular after The Beatles released a song with that title in 1968: in that song, John Lennon wrote some enigmatic lyrics aimed to confuse people, mocking those who obsessively analyzed The Beatles’ lyrics, always theorizing new weird meanings. You can listen to The Beatles’ song here.
In that song, The Beatles invite these obsessed listeners to “look at things through the glass onion,” mocking their habit of carefully dissecting every line they wrote. The glass onion, in British slang, is the monocle, the single magnifier glass often associated with the stereotype of investigators. The Beatles invited the listeners to find hidden meanings in those lyrics, and at the same time, they added cryptic, non-sense lines like “here’s another clue for you all: the walrus was Paul,” or “fixing a hole in the ocean, trying to make a dovetail joint.”
The concept of assuming a greater significance in simple things is a consistent topic in the movie Glass Onion: when detective Blanc starts explaining how things went in the last part of the movie, he points out very clearly the fact that they all assumed that Miles Bron was a genius, because of all the layers he adds to his aura. But the more you scratch the surface, removing the onion layers, the faster you realize the truth: “Miles Bron is an idiot.” That’s what happens if you tend to read every sign with the assumption that there must be a greater meaning or a genius stroke behind it: you start believing that he used the word “inbreathiate” to show a superior culture, but if you take out all the assumptions, you realize that it’s just a made up non-sense word. And when Birdie says, “it’s brilliant!” referring to the idea Miles had to kill Duke with pineapple juice, Blanc screams, “no! It’s just dumb!”
In conclusion, the meaning of Glass Onion is not literally the glass room in Miles Bron’s mansion and doesn’t have anything to do with the glass onion bottles used in the 17th and 18th centuries. It’s a metaphor for the mistake we sometimes make by looking at things with excessive attention, seeking a hidden meaning that doesn’t exist. Because most of the time, things are as plain and easy as they look, and people like Miles Bron are just dumb. Like you would assume for a man that finds out his old partner can destroy him with a red envelope and drives up to her place to kill her straight away.
“To risk committing murder after a very public court case would be an exceedingly stupid thing to do,” says Blanc at some point in the movie, ruling out the theory that Miles Bron could practically be the one who killed Cassandra Brand. Well, up to that point, Blanc was just another victim of that illusion.