Updated: Mar 2
Director Rian Johnson is fresh in this flick, after a Star Wars hangover. Knives-Out delivers strongly mainly on screenplay, and character embodiment. While the main setting of the film is in a supreme mansion just by Boston, as I seem to notice. The plot is directly put onto the audience, for delivering suspense. The old patriarch of the Thrombey family, Mr. Harlan Thrombey is found dead just after his 85th birthday party celebration. Now the question comes of who did that? Daniel Craig, the 21st century James Bond, easily incorporates private detective Benoit Blanc's persona on the screen. He remains in the background when the initial interrogation of the family members' takes place. This is where we are introduced to most of the characters of the film.
Harlan's eldest daughter Linda Drysdale, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, is a real-estate empress. She is married to Richard Drysdale, played by Don Johnson. Both of them seem to nicely fake their marriage until Harlan decides to spook off his son-in-law. Thereafter we are shown Harlan's youngest son, Walt Thrombey, played by Michael Shannon better known to me from 'Man of Steel', is just publishing company's head. Of his children, only Walt is left with something which is just now his own. Joni Thrombey, played by Toni Collette, is the daughter-in-law of Harlan, who is a widow and self-made 'Kylie Jenner'-sort-of-thing with her company's name as 'Flan'. Megan Thrombey, played by Katherine Langford, granddaughter of Harlan and daughter of Joni, is a college student. Pretty much after '13 Reasons Why', she actually got a part in the ensemble cast, although her character was of less value. Jacob Thrombey, played by Jaedan Martell, from 'It: Chapter One', the grandson of Harlan and son of Walt, is another just young cast youth. His character adds the least tension in the film owing to non-necessity in the whole plot. The character to watch out, Marta Cabrera, played by Ana de Armes, is Harlan's nurse and sole-friend. She is the one who around you gets the whole plot unveiled bit by bit. Hugh Ransom Drysdale, played by Chris Evans, is the grandson of Harlan and the son of Linda and Richard. Well, to be sure, Captain America does give a powerful performance.
The plot then moves at a steady pace when Benoit Blanc questions the family members. Although what gives us a starting impression of being a slow-paced stuffed film, the director really pushes Marta's character to the front, showing her family background. Ana de Armes gives a sturdy performance when it comes to playing the innocent, pure, and 'out of lie' puking person. Benoit Blanc specifically acts out of the outsmarted move of approaching him for solving the case. The whole family's nerves wreck up when Benoit declares it as murder, not suicide. The interrogation of Marta marks the beginning of Benoit's intuition leading to a discrepancy. As Benoit jolts up his investigations on Marta, things become clear. Ransom Drysdale, the exploited brat one may say, is off the screen-time majorly until Marta's character unwinds. The other two detectives other than adding up space doesn't provide any reasonable depth. Director pushed up Benoit's character with no specific feature as a detective, but the last 20-25 minutes explore his instincts leading to the actuality. The fantastic thing in the film is how the murder is suicide but actually planned murder. Chris Evans is charming as always as he takes on Ransom, the only family member with whom Harlan has a bittersweet connection. Benoit pulls off minute details and places them in order as Ransom and Marta watch on. In the end, Benoit puts all the deductions in order, whereby Ransom and Marta look on.
Definitely 'Knives-Out' is a good mystery investigation film. The director is fresh after his Star Wars outing. The film is worth a watch for thriller fans, but due to the obvious storytelling, we get predictable notions leading to an easy ending. But characters were compact, carefully placed and the screenplay wins here.