Thursday, February 06, 2020

Knives Out (2019)


I remember hearing about the TV show Alias.  In it, the main character’s father works for the CIA.  Except he doesn’t.  Except he really does.  Knives out is sort of like that.

Harlan Thrombey is a mystery writer who is found dead in a locked room.  It appears to be suicide.  Except his family hated him, so it had to be murder.  Except it’s impossible to prove who.  Plus, he was found dead in a locked room.  So, the police have plenty of suspects, but no real evidence.

Benoit Blanc, a private detective who was hired anonymously, is convinced it’s murder.  He presses the investigation until he figures out what really happened.

I don’t see a lot of mystery movies.  I tend to find them all very similar.  We have a few plot twists.  Some, we see coming.  Some, we don’t.  We have a lot of people who stood to gain from Thrombey’s death and they all look guilty.

Then, there’s Marta Cabrera, who is acting guilty.  She knows something.  Did she murder him?  Does she know who did?  Why isn’t she saying anything?

We come to find out that guilt isn’t so clear-cut a thing.  It’s almost like that riddle where a man falls off a roof only to be shot on the third floor.  Is the shooter guilty?  Well, it’s more complicated than that.  Yes, mistakes were made.

My biggest complaint about this movie could have easily been the bad decisions made.  It’s always easier to come forward (or at least get a lawyer) first thing.  At least it wasn’t overdone.  We understand that Marta is in a difficult position.

The family also could have been overdone.  Most of them are easy to dislike.  We don’t really want to see any of them get their share of the estate.

It’s an interesting movie that’s got an interesting set of circumstances.  It almost appears to be written by someone who dislikes a lot of the clich├ęs I dislike, but didn’t want to necessarily parody the genre.  I wouldn’t call it wish fulfillment, necessarily.  However, it does play out rather interestingly.



1 comment :

Sean said...

Good point about this hitting on cliches without parodying them, exactly. I thought it struck a good balance of feeling familiar but still managing to have the twists lead to different places than I expected.