Review: Knives Out (2020)

It’s been a stellar time for film, and Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is one more in a string of quality new media. Sporting an ensemble cast, decadent set designs, beautiful costume design, and a quirky plot, it’s an enjoyable puzzle. the plot is simple: Is it suicide or murder that killed renowned author Harlan Thrombey? Everyone is a suspect, and the mystery twists delightfully.

The family in a classic Clue-style portrait.

Aside from the all-star cast and corkscrew plot, the film is absolutely beautiful. From the opening shot, I sat up and took notice. The plot takes place in a dark, brooding mansion that seems pulled from a Victorian novel.

That gothic aesthetic set my pulse racing!

The interiors apparently are a combination of three different homes. Meanwhile , the costume design portrays plenty for each character in the space. While dome are calling it a modern version of Clue (1985), it reminded me of The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) as well. But every time the characters were outside, that brooding home looming in the background and the grounds rolling into the distance made the isolation palpable in a very Shirley Jackson way. The home, while sprawling, still manages to feel suffocating.

All the little details tell of the work of generations, but even that is called into question eventually. Like most history, it only seems impressive. Below the surface, the reasons for it’s appearance is actually rather shallow. Just like many of the characters, with hilarious consequences.

And the social commentary hits hard despite Rian Johnson’s claim that the film isn’t about any social issues.

Strong, able cast. Strong plot. Strong art direction. Original plot. This is one you need to support.

Rating: 5/5


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