Knives Out is a movie, and I saw it, and I recommend seeing it, I guess? Rian Johnson’s Whodunit murder mystery features an eccentric family and their fancy estate gained from the twisted murderous tales of Harlan Thrombey suddenly find themselves living in such a tale. A star-studded cast, a convoluted yet indulging mystery, and some humorous undertones makes this mystery a fun time.
As of writing this, Knives Out currently boasts a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and I think it’s important to distinguish I feel that’s because the film is of sound quality and is really not offensive in any outrageous errors than being anything spectacular or extraordinary. As the critic who complained about the 2nd half of Frozen II for 3000 thousand words, my only complaint here is that the cinematography felt really flat, and that was kind of a shame that it made the very interesting set feel two-dimensional. I mean the first half of the film is very standard interview style shot reverse shot, it almost looks like they’re being shot for a press kit. The mystery element is explained well, and while I had almost the same conclusion as the movie from the very beginning, I guess I didn’t exactly get it right. It’s honestly a good mystery, just because there’s a thousand suspicious activities going on and obvious lines or happenings that will come back into play later. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly is going to be the most important moments later on and what’s a red herring.
I think the only thing you could possibly find distasteful was the heavy-handed politics, but I don’t think it was all that bad. Two things really got me to accept that aspect of the film, the first being that the theater I saw it in does during the pre-show demonstrate video packages of scenes from similar films. Seeing I think it was Clue (1995) having discussions about the HUAC and blacklisting demonstrated that this isn’t anything new for the genre. The second is that the film seems to be very equal opportunist and really lampoons both sides. While the end of the film might have some unintended implications, I don’t think many are thinking about the symbolism that deep and it’s a very forced lens to reach the conclusion I’m referring to.
It’s jarring at first to see these people who are clearly living and dressed like they are from several decades ago, speaking about Netflix and social media influencers. The film just kind of says, oh it’s because they’re heavily invested into the murder mysteries of their family and it’s just like okay, fine.
Here’s my quick spoiler section of where I was wrong:
I thought that the whole thing was staged by Harlan who faked his own death. Harlan clearly knew how to play people and what he perceived was best for everyone. Initially Daniel Craig hits a key on the piano whenever a witness testimony alerts him to foul play, and I thought one of them alluded to the possibility that Harlan wasn’t dead. Harlan makes a very obvious throwaway comment about not being able to recognize a fake knife from a real one before he dies. It does come back into play, but in the form of Chris Evan’s character attempting to murder the RN. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think I’m completely off base, and I think Knives Out is Harlan’s last great murder mystery story put to action. I think he intentionally threw the go-board, pitted Chris Evans against the main character, and planned it all out from the beginning trusting everyone to play their role to perfection. We saw with the affair note that he was a master of deception and if his house, family, and own mannerisms where any indicator, he was surely one for showmanship.
What did you think of Knives Out, a stabbing good time, or leaving you cold as a corpse? Let me with a comment below. Thanks for stopping by, have a good one, and I’ll see you at the movies.