Review: As all-star whodunits go, ‘Glass Onion’ has enormous appeal – for its style, its cast of characters, or both. But will the film live up to its potential?
When I was a kid, in my native South Africa, the only times I had an enjoyable experience with the law were when I found myself behind a desk. The reason for this was simple: I was always guilty of the sin of being a black hole at the heart of an otherwise bright office culture. It was rare to be one of the few people of colour in a room of white people, and rarer still to find any white people in a room of non-white people.
This was also true when I lived in the US. My black-hole experiences were a little less extreme than those in SA, and I had a more relaxed attitude towards them. But there was something in the American law department that, for one reason or another, made being a black hole an even less attractive prospect. I had no chance of being appointed a partner, or a junior-partner at one. I was always the youngest person on a job, or a junior lawyer. In a moment of relative calm, my parents were faced with the decision over whether they would send me to a private law school in the US or whether I would go straight to a law school there, which was then the norm. They decided to send me to the former, in part because I was born in South Africa to an American father and an English mother, and they decided to send me there, in part because I was the youngest person on my law school admission list.
The reason for this was that I was the only person who, as a child, had been born in South Africa, and therefore qualified as an American in the eyes of the law. And now I had to deal with my own laws and those of the US, on top of being a South African.
One of the things that attracted me to the film was its idea of a South African lawyer. I had just spent a year in South East Asia and had never really taken the idea of legal immigration from there seriously. The idea of South African law was