Nope: how to interpret the last image of the film? – Cinema news

Released on Wednesday August 10 on our screens, “Nope” by Jordan Peele ends with a striking image full of symbolism. But aren’t there several ways to interpret it? – SPOILER WARNING!!!

WARNING – The article below being centered on the last plan of “Nope”, it obviously contains spoilers, since it will notably be a question of the end of the film by Jordan Peele. Please move on if you haven’t seen it yet.

As in Ushis previous film, Jordan Peele refuses to explain everything Boop. The director prefers to leave a few mysteries hovering, so that everyone interprets them as they wish, according to the subjects that each element inspires in them. When the end credits scroll, we don’t know where this ship came from, which turned out to be an extraterrestrial creature, nor the why and how of this shoe that stands on its own on the set of the sitcom. “Gordy and Company”.

And aren’t there two ways to read the very last shot of Jordan Peele’s third feature film? After luring the monster into a trap within the fire amusement park Ricky ‘Skirt’ Park (steven yeun), while managing to take a picture of it, Emerald (Keke Palmer) closes his eyes and seems to pray that his brother OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) is present when she reopens them.

Seen in a bad position when he was trying to create a diversion so that the creature wouldn’t attack his sister, he reappears like a cowboy, in the smoke and the western setting of the park, to music that would have its place in a feature film Sergio Leone. All’s well that ends well then? Not sure, because the plan can be interpreted in two ways.


Like Nope as a whole, which can very well be appreciated in the first degree (the story of a family confronted with an extraterrestrial invader) without looking into the themes that it develops thanks to this allegory, his latest plan can be taken for what it seems to be: a happy ending. After promising that he would always be there to watch over his sister, thanks to this gesture that they have had since childhood, OJ kept his word by escaping the flying object which ended up being identified.

And he does things well, in a heroic posture that allows him to reclaim what his great-great-great-grandfather had been dispossessed of when History retained only the images of a horse recorded by Eadweard Muybridge, one of the precursors of cinema, and not the black jockey who was on the animal. In the same way that the western has too often excluded African-American cowboys from its stories (therefore from the History of America as told by Hollywood).

Nope how to interpret the last image of the film
Universal Pictures International France

Daniel Kaluuya

OJ would thus not only have triumphed over the extraterrestrial who threatened their property, but also over the reappropriation of his family history as well as that of the invisibilization of African-Americans in America’s iconographic past. By refusing in particular to be the victim that many horror films would have made of him, with this gimmick, “Nope”which echoes the title.

In doing so, the last shot would refer to the first, that of the vertical shoe which is never explained to us but which clearly appears as an example of “bad miracle” of which OJ speaks: an event a priori impossible and which defies all understanding, without the exhilarating side of the miracle as it is positively represented. While we thought he was dead, the character would have escaped, and this time it would be a good miracle.

And this mirror effect would extend into the staging: the foreground, that of the bad miracle, was seen through the eyes of young Ricky (Jacob Kim). And the last comes from Emerald’s gaze.


Yes, but here it is: Nope certainly speaks of our obsession for the spectacle or of the invisibilization of the African-American population. But also the importance of the gaze. That of the victims, who died after having attracted the creature by trying at all costs to see it. That of the heroes, who choose not to see in order not to be seen. Or what Jordan Peele chooses to show or not.

In this case, the director does not show any interaction between Emerald and OJ, nor even between the latter and the journalists who rushed to the scene in order to appropriate the event. He prefers to cut short and launch the end credits after this shot that we only see through the eyes of the young woman played by Keke Palmer. Who could have wished for her brother’s return so much, that she ended up hallucinating him.

Which would explain this spectacular and fantastic plan, a little too good to be true. An impression reinforced by the music but which goes hand in hand with the discourse, developed throughout the story, on the power of images. There are therefore two ways of seeing the end, depending on whether one is optimistic or pessimistic, the second option also echoing the beginning of the story, but in a different way.

1660761878 683 Nope how to interpret the last image of the film
Universal Pictures International France

Keke Palmer

As seen later, Ricky somewhat rewrote the drama he experienced on the set of “Gordy and Company” (helped by the sketch “hilarious” that Saturday Night Live pulled from the facts) and of which we get a chilling glimpse at the very beginning. And maybe that’s what Emerald does in the end, choosing the outcome she wants to see.

With this ambiguous end, Jordan Peele and Nope are a little more in line with War of the Worlds of Steven Spielberg, which they were already approaching thanks to their way of mixing the spectacular with the intimate, or the sequence of the rain of blood. In 2005, the dad was accused ofAND its somewhat forced happy ending and the miraculous return of the hero’s son, when everything indicated that he seemed to have perished earlier.

But many have noted that, similar to the last act of Minority Report could be the dream of a John Anderton still in prison, the last sequence of The War of the Worlds was perhaps only the fruit of a hallucination of the character played by Tom Cruise. Indeed, the staging and editing focus first on his gaze before revealing the off-screen: the return of Robbie (Justin Chatwin). Who does not interact with anyone, while no character seems to react explicitly to his arrival, as if to cast doubt.

A way of being in phase with the necessities of a summer blockbuster without betraying the subject that we are trying to develop. And who would establish one more bridge between the cinema of Jordan Peele and that of Steven Spielberg, who also ventured into The Fourth Dimension the time of a segment of the film released in 1983. While keeping this parallel between good and bad miracle, which works as well with a really alive OJ as an Emerald hallucination. Nope is far from having revealed all his secrets.

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