It’s time to reflect: 2019 was a great year for movies. Among the seemingly endless nominations for various film awards last year, I assert that “Knives Out” was totally slept on.
Admittedly, with films like “Parasite” and “Marriage Story” making their debuts the same year, it’s understandable why “Knives Out” didn’t top the charts of critics. However, “understandable” does not mean “permissible” in this context.
That being said, “Knives Out,” with the interesting spin it throws on the mystery genre, was a super exciting and enjoyable time at the movies. With the blessing of quarantine, I finally convinced my parents to watch it while getting to relive the emotions myself just last week.
If you haven’t already seen the film, then you probably have better things to do than read this article: mild spoilers ahead!
Discussing everything good about this movie would be tiresome and, frankly, too much for just one article. Instead, I’ll only cover my favorite part. By revealing the truth of Harlan Thrombey’s death at the beginning of the story, the film effectively subverts the audience’s expectations and leaves them wanting to see what in the world the movie will do with the remaining hour and six minutes of runtime.
The result of this decision didn’t just captivate me as an audience member, but it directly challenges the tradition within the genre of the “big reveal” being at the end of the film and, most typically, uncovering the identity of the killer.
Sure, the plot may have its fair share of conveniences and improbabilities, but with the exceptional performances by a stellar cast and the unraveling of a “Who dun it?” turned “Can they get away with it?” storyline, there isn’t a better way that I can think of to enjoy a movie.
On the topic of the excellent cast, can we please talk about Daniel Craig’s portrayal of Detective Benoit Blanc? With an absolutely absurd, hardy southern drawl and a charming level of benevolence, Craig stole the show for me.
Too often, filmmakers and actors are concerned with coming off as too hyperbolic or obnoxious in their roles, but I’m someone who gets ridiculously entertained by more “over-the-top” acting as long as it’s done in a meaningful way.
In “Knives Out,” for instance, Blanc’s eccentrism is exploited in the film for some great comic relief while also making for a great ally for Ana de Armas’ character Marta Cabrera.
Overall, if you haven’t seen “Knives Out” yet, it seems that the world has gifted you the ideal opportunity to do so. It was just released on Amazon Prime, costing $5.99 for a 48-hour rental. As for me, “Knives Out” has officially been added to my blu-ray collection. From now on, it will be exemplary of the murder-mystery genre for me and serve as a reminder of the “A-Z Mysteries” and “The Wayward Pines” novels that peppered my shelves as a middle-schooler.