Story By Esperanza Garcia, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Pexels.com
2019 was practically filled with “do not miss” movies, with some of them, arguably, getting less attention than others. “Knives Out” was one of those films. Directed and written by Rian Johnson, the comedic whodunnit shows the Thrombey family and nurse Marta Cabrera as they’re investigated by Detective Benoit Blanc, who is trying to figure out if Harlan Thrombey, the head of the family, was murdered or if he committed suicide. Through a series of interviews that the Blanc does with the family members, the audience is led to believe that we know what happened to Thrombey; that is until we reach the third act.
The film, very simply put, is wonderfully made. From Johnson’s style of directing to the script, the film felt like a breath of fresh air. In a sea of reboots, franchise continuations, and expected blockbusters, it was nice to see something new, something original. Yes, there is still a hint of a whodunnit formula, but the contents and themes that filled the formula gave the movie more dimension. While one can see at first glance the themes of class and race between Marta and the Thrombeys, the smaller moments and small actions don’t make the film seem like it’s pandering or pleading for an approval from the Latinx community.
“Knives Out” is Johnson’s first film since his directorial and writing work for the ever divisive “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” so for many, this film can be seen as an act of redemption (I would argue that “The Last Jedi” wasn’t even that bad and that it did more than its successor, but that can be a piece for a different time). Johnson released this film after having one where he had to continuously defend his directorial and story decisions, so needless to say, there was a lot on the line, and he did spectacular. The combination of comedy and whodunnit can sometimes feel a bit campy, yet in this film, it felt like they belonged together. If you still feel skeptical about this film because of his work on “The Last Jedi,” put it aside, this is a completely different film (and it’s been three years; at some point we need to release our past cinematic demons). From characters you will probably hate to characters that you’ll love, to what seems to be like a premature conclusion but ends up being a misconception, this film is one that I feel flew under the radar, and with a schedule that seems to get a little emptier after an assignment is turned in, why not reward yourself with some good, original cinema?
Esperanza Garcia is a senior at Aquinas College majoring in Sociology and minoring in Women Studies. In her free time, she enjoys watching films and reading thrillers.