‘Knives Out’ is a modern American murder mystery that follows the death of a wealthy mystery novelist after he is found with his throat slit the morning after his birthday. While it is initially ruled as a suicide, the brilliant detective Benoit Blanc is anonymously asked to investigate, provoking the police to consider foul play from the family members who have a strained relationship with him. Thus begins the twisty but delightfully fun unravelling of the various incidences leading up to the fateful day and figuring out the true mastermind behind it all.
Harlan Thrombey is a self-made man with millions to his name and therefore millions to be gained on his death. Each of his family members holds a dark secret unknown to the others but known to Thrombey. So, when the entire crowd gathers in his mansion for his 85th birthday, each one has a motive and opportunity to strike. While Detective Blanc begins with the tedious job of finding the various secrets that each member is hiding, we get to meet Marta Cabrera, Harlan’s nurse and his closest companion in the house. The detective finds out that Marta has an unusual occurrence of puking after she lies, causing them to work together to solve the mystery of his death.
The setting and story are reminiscent of that of Agatha Christie's murder mysteries and are just as clever and interesting. The most incredible part being how when you feel all the cards are out and the mystery is solved, the story reveals another plot twist that leaves you speechless. The way the film reveals these twists is also very unorthodox which creates a completely new level of excitement and tension for the final reveal.
Other than its brilliant storyline and screenplay, what makes this film stand out amongst other murder mysteries is that it is not dark or gritty. While it has its serious and dramatic moments, it is filled with humorous undertones of jabbing one-liners and classy wit that keeps you hooked for its entire run time.
All the actors do a phenomenal job of showing a dysfunctional family with too many troubles to handle. We also get to see some subtle but important social commentary especially in regards to immigration and the wealth gap through the eyes of Marta.
'Knives out' is indeed the unmaking of what you would come to expect out of a murder mystery while still feeling faithful to the genre. It is thoroughly rewatchable, wonderfully satisfying and entertaining from start to finish, especially with a crowd. This one is an absolute must-watch.
-By Annapoorna Narayan
Check out the trailer for 'Knives Out' below: