Think Gosford park in modern times, Clue but they’re all related, and Daniel Craig as Rhett Butler, and you have Knives Out, a roller coaster that you might need to ride twice.
First of all, I did enjoy the film. It hooks you, it’s entertaining, and it’s a character-driven story. As a writer, it’s needless to say that no matter what the plot or tone, if a story is character-driven at its core, I tend to admire it.
Second of all, I do see the political lens that you can view it through. Some people may be bothered by it, others might enjoy it. If you look up articles, you’ll see a lot of different views. Honestly, just decide for yourself, and enjoy it for what it is: a good mystery.
As far as the plot goes, it starts out simple. Harlan Thrombey, a crime novelist played by Christopher Plummer, is found by the housekeeper with his throat slit. His grown children and their families all come together for the will reading, but someone anonymously hired an investigator, Benoit Blanc played by Daniel Craig. The death was ruled a suicide, but someone obviously thinks it wasn’t. We get to know the family members as we watch them be interviewed. Harlan Thrombey’s nurse, Marta played by Ana de Armas, is the last to be interviewed by the renowned Blanc. This happens almost midway through the film, then we get a big “twist,” and realize there is more to his death than meets the eye, but not in the way we expect.
What follows is a captivating whirlwind of events that keep you guessing, and makes you not know who to root for. It’s very humorous, a tone that stays with you the entire film- nearly every part brings a laugh, from big reveals, to shocks, to attempted murders. Daniel Craig stands out, but each person brings their own eccentricity to the screen. Each of Harlan’s children (Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, and Harlan’s daughter-in-law Toni Collette) have a unique presence on screen. I especially liked Michael Shannon’s performance, as I usually do (and I must say he looks better with a beard), and Jamie Lee Curtis is a favorite of mine.
With a talented cast, twists and turns, and Clue style humor, it’s a film that I won’t easily forget, and could watch multiple times to catch little clues and tidbits that escaped me before. Chances are, the film will hook you the same way.