Be it homage or parody, Knives Out is hands-down the funniest, and most enjoyable, 2019 whodunnit.
Knives Out Synopsis
Wealthy mystery writer Harlan Thrombey commits brutal suicide, much to the distress of his (heavily) dependent sons and daughters. Into the aftermath steps renowned P.I. Benoit Blanc, hired by an anonymous customer, and it soon becomes obvious that there is more to the inexplicable suicide than it seems. The web of naughty schemes behind the strange death would rival Harlan’s own magnificent plot twists.
Once again, as there’s already a ton of positive write-ups and accolades online for Knives Out, I’ll go quick with this snappy review. I’ll just list down what I loved about this homage to the classic whodunnit story.
- Daniel’s Craig caricature of Hercule Poirot is one word: magnificent. Mr. 007 is so obviously having a whale of a time with the exaggerated accent and nosey sleuthing. At the right moments, he displays the exact amount of brilliant insight too.
- The pot, I mean plot, has all the ingredients of a classic whodunnit. What deeply captivated me, though, was how the story quickly morphed into being something else. It’s not entirely a flawless transition, but nonetheless, it was still an unexpected and delightful turn.
- Is this movie an example of how much Chris Evans has developed as an actor? Well, I guess that depends on how you look at it. For me, I’d say the hunk hasn’t exactly gotten out of his Capt America persona, but he certainly knows how to use what lingers to his advantage.
- Going a little fanboy with this one. Jamie Lee Curtis doesn’t have that many notable scenes. However, she still consistently projects an impressive presence and charisma in the ones featuring her. “Laurie” is certainly a queen, with or without screaming.
- I ought to highlight that the rest of the cast threw in remarkable performances too, each playing their assigned genre stereotype to the fullest. Among all, I enjoyed Christopher Plummer’s Harlan Thrombey most. With just a few words and sly glances, he makes it clear his character is the one in control of the whole fracas from start to end.
- The effort to make Knives Out not just the usual whodunnit resulted in some parts of it being rather long i.e. dreary. I’m sure home sleuths worldwide would also detect holes in the story. Despite these, I think this 2019 whodunnit parody accomplishes what it sets out to do. It’s fun, and a homage. It hesitates not to have fun with the more laughable tropes of the genre too. In all, this was one of my most enjoyable watches for 2019. Indulge in the wickedness, and it should be the same for you too.