Rian Johnson’s award-winning 2019 comedy mystery, Knives Out, is often talked about in the same breath as cinema masterpieces like Casablanca and Schindler’s List, and with good reason. This smart, witty, suspenseful film has everything you’d want from a modern Hollywood classic – a talented director, stellar cast, compelling storyline, and timely and relevant theme. This article looks closely at the aspects that led to Knives Out’s success.
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Plot of Knives Out
Knives Out tells the story of the mysterious death of debonaire crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). When the eccentric and shadowy detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is called in to solve the case, the Thrombey family’s ailments, rivalries and secrets are revealed. As details of the crime and the family are investigated, a web of lies and cover-ups are uncovered and the truth is revealed in an unexpected twist ending. The eclectic cast of characters bring the story to life as the audience is taken on a roller coaster ride that’s full of twists and turns. In the end, justice is served and a timely and relevant message about the dark side of privilege and elitism is highlighted.
The Genre-Defying Intrigue of Knives Out
In Knives Out, Johnson masterfully blends different genres and creates a unique movie that defies categorization. On its surface, the movie is a classic whodunit in the vein of Agatha Christie’s classic mysteries, but it’s so much more. It’s a story about a dysfunctional family locked in a battle over its patriarch’s will. The audience finds themselves captivated by the mystery of who killed Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) and the family drama that unfolds in the wake of his death.
But beyond the suspense and intrigue, Knives Out is also a social satire about the dark side of class and privilege. It paints a wonderfully detailed picture of a family whose wealth and privilege have created an insular and dysfunctional ecosystem of envy, resentment, and greed. It’s a sharp commentary on how the cultural and class divides often exposed in crisis can tear even the closest families apart.
But as an audience, we’re always allowed to remember that the movie is about much more than just a family feud. While the mystery keeps us hooked and guessing till the erratic conclusion, the message of Knives Out is clear as day – privilege comes with a price and affects us all.
A Stellar Cast and Delightful Characters
While the plot and the themes are the show’s stars, Knives Out would be nothing without the amazing performances of its talented cast. The movie boasts an ensemble of A-listers such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, and Toni Collette. These famous faces bring to life a gathering of endearing and vile characters. Even small characters such as the long-suffering housekeeper, Fran (Edi Patterson), and the sinisterly charming detective, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), are brilliantly fleshed out (or not so fleshed out in the case of the latter).
It’s a tribute to Johnson’s team of writers and the cast that each member of the Thrombey family feels like a living, breathing person. While the audience gets to know the characters through their interactions and conversations with each other, Johnson’s smart script allows the audience to learn the most about the characters through the things they don’t say.
Trailer for Knives Out
As if the wonderful storytelling wasn’t enough, the movie delights the audience with its stunning visuals. Cinematographer Steve Yedlin brings the massive Thrombey estate to life, and the viewer is mesmerized by the sweeping wide shots of beautiful new england landscapes. The stunning visuals of the estate’s lavish interiors and the macabre family dinner scene deliver a visual feast as much a part of the story as the dialogue and the characters.
Conclusion: Watch Knives Out for Unexpected Twist Ending
Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is an entertaining and smartly crafted work of cinema. With its star-studded cast, compelling storylines, and stunning visuals, it’s no wonder the movie has become a fan favorite and a modern classic. It’s a delightful and informative flick that manages to entertain and enlighten the audience simultaneously. From the canny dialogue to the subtle social commentary, Knives Out is a cinematic masterpiece that viewers will surely enjoy for years.