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"Knives Out" Rian Johnson

by Courtney Deeren - Lifestyles Editor
Fri, Dec 13th 2019 10:00 am

I would have gone to see “Knives Out” even if it didn’t feature Chris Evans as a smug, sarcastic, sweater-wearing murder suspect and Daniel Craig as a quirky, private investigator using donuts to explain murder, but those were certainly added bonuses. The whodunnit mystery-comedy opened in theaters on Thanksgiving Day and has viewers wondering at each plot turn. 

If Evans, who plays Hue Ransom Thrombey, grandson of the late Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), was worried about being typecast after spending so many years as Captain America this role quickly proved his ability to act in more than one facet. He takes on the role of Ransom, a maniacal, albeit charming, villainous character with a dark secret. 

It isn’t just Ransom who has a secret, though. Each of the family members is hiding their own piece of information from the investigators. The story unfolds in an out of order fashion and leaves the audience to put the puzzle together on their own. 

The directors utilize extreme closeups on the faces of the characters during the moments before they flashback to a memory of the night of the murder. These close and personal shots leave the audience feeling a little uncomfortable by how many nose hairs they can see, or just how yellow some character’s teeth are. The parallels between the camera work and what’s going on in the scene was done so well and made for a really great visual retelling of what the characters were doing or feeling. 

With most of the film taking place inside the mansion of Harlan, the family was stuck inside together to deal with the death of their father/ grandfather. This provided several opportunities for hysterical and dysfunctional arguments. Much like any person who can relate to any holiday season, when a family is closed in together for long enough, touchy subjects are bound to come up. The movie even slipped some political banter into the fold for the added kick of realism. 

Overall, I loved the film. I thought the way the family members interacted with each other felt genuine and it was nice to see Evans and Craig slip outside of their usual roles as comedic good guy, and b--a-- spy, respectively. Just when you think you know what’s happening and who was responsible, which actually comes early in the movie, you’ll be thrown for a loop. If you find yourself in the theater saying “this is too easy,” that’s because it is and that’s how I felt all the way up until the end. 

I would recommend this movie for anyone who likes a little mystery with a mix of witty comedy. With elements of the popular board game Clue, this is bound to satisfy anyone with an inherent desire to figure things out. Make sure to keep note of the little things like the way people say things, the way the clothing and scenery and demeanor of people change throughout each perspective’s retelling and the big clues that add up in the end. 

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