Knives Out: 2019’s who’s who(dunnit) 


courtesy of Collider

The critically acclaimed murder mystery movie, Knives out, pulled in $41.7 million in its initial early five-day thanksgiving release on Wednesday 27th. Apart from a star-studded cast, the movie also gained attention for its controversial director Rian Johnson. The movie exceeded its already high expectations with its great story and amazing production.

Luis Ponce, Staff

Director Rian Johnson’s 2019 mystery flick, Knives Out, recently released, greeted with massive success, receiving a whopping 96 percent (certified fresh) and 94 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes upon its release. Reminiscent of the work of legendary mystery writer Agatha Christie, the film incorporates numerous tropes from the mystery genre but twists its story in a way that makes them feel original. The film’s impressive cast (including A-list actors like Chris Evans, Toni Collette, Daniel Craig, and more) adds another layer to the movie that makes it extremely entertaining to watch since the majority of these actors gave among the best and most intriguing performances of their careers.

After his 85th birthday party, world-renowned Whodunit author, Harlan Thromby (Christopher Plummer), dies. The cause: suicide—or at least that’s what it looks like. A week after his passing, his family returns to the mansion for a police investigation involving his demise. After the police and private investigator, Benoit Blanc (Craig), interview the entire Thromby family, they find that everyone possesses a motive.  To investigate the case Detective Blanc enlists the help of Harlan’s trusted caretaker (Ana de Armas), who has a regurgitative reaction to lying. 

At first, the movie starts off a little bit slow. In the first 10-15 minutes, the movie introduces the characters and the situation in a fairly cliche opening act that includes a series of interviews. But once the last interview ends, the audience buckles up for a wild ride. Johnson did something refreshing with the whodunnit story structure. At the beginning of the movie, he gives away the essential answers: “Who? What? When? Where? Why?” But in doing so, he makes the audience question what they know. Viewers must keep their eyes and ears open at all times because details briefly mentioned throughout the film end up playing an important role. 

The movie achieves a perfectly balanced mixture of comedy and suspense. The comedy helps ease the tension but still maintains the seriousness of the situation and the audience’s attention. The film also tackles a handful of current political issues. The Thromby family bluntly caricatures the different stereotypes in the American top 1 percent, such as the social media influencer, the “self-made” entrepreneur,  or the far-right internet troll, to criticize their privilege and their “blindness” to it. The movie also criticizes discrimination and inequality for immigrants—especially those here illegally—by not only representing it through Harlen’s caretaker Marta, but also with a rather blunt Thanksgiving-esque heated family debate involving the current detainment centers in the U.S./Mexico border.

Overall this movie delivered in all aspects. From the twists and turns to the actors’ performances, viewers can clearly see that everyone involved in this movie gave it their all to make this a quality film which paid off greatly in the end.