What is it? CSI: KFC?
I’ve had a great pleasure to watch this movie before it’s release to the public, during American Film Festival. First thing I noticed was that tickets were sold out very fast – that only proves that Knives Out is one of the most anticipated movie of 2019. I only saw trailer once and I completely forgot what this movie is about. I only knew one thing – Marta and I watched two movies at AFF that day, and we had to run from one room to another to get the best places for her to see Chris Evans. Mission completed, eh? 😉 What is it? CSI: KFC?
Now, what exactly the IMDb says about this movie? (By the way, I love these one-sentence movie preview, I just love this shit :D) “A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.” Sounds… Well, not very thrilling. Movie like any other, story that does not give you a thrill or a goosebumps. But trust me – Knives Out is not a ordinary movie. It’s entire murder mystery-thriller-crime-detective experience.
This might contain spoilers to the plot – nothing extremely big but still – fair warning
You can tell by the poster, that Knives Out will be different – warm colors that strike you, with bright palette. Although the movie coloristic is toned, some accents – the critical ones – are emphasized. Like clothing, like books in the library, like the attic office. Generally, the insides of Thrombey Estate. On the outside, you can see darkened shades. Gloomy atmosphere of crime novel.
And that’s exactly where we are – inside a book. Good book, with charismatic detective, charming asshole, anxious sidekick and confused policeman. And Rian Johnson gave us all of it.
Imagine that you are sitting in a cabin in the woods. It’s a cozy house, with big fireplace, colorful rugs on the floor, with well-stocked liquor cabinet. You’re there with your friends, you wanted to get out of the loud and sleepless city, so you hit the road. The owner – an eccentric old man is an excellent host. He shows you around and starts the fire, so you can get warm. Snow surprised you, as you left he city, so you came in late, but that wasn’t a problem. His wife made dinner and once all of you changed into comfy sweatpants and warm sweaters, he offered to tell you a story about a murder mystery. You ate the soup as the logs slowly burned, and he poured the drinks. His wife prepared tea, because “the weather is awful!”. You feel familiar warmth of home, family and peace. Sitting on the floor, you lean on the couch, ready to listen.
And the story begins. Your narrator, he is that brilliant but a bit peculiar detective. He is the only person that knows the entire story, holds every piece of the puzzle. So, to make this more enjoyable, he casts all of you as other characters in the story. You got to play the part!
Daniel Craig fought and won with all stereotypes, that surrounded him – like that he’s a muscle, or that he plays in crappy movies. Or that he’s just Bond. James Bond! In Knives Out he is to main character, detective so bizarre, you can’t stop smiling. But keep up your guard, his blue eyes will pierce right through you. You might think, you can fool him. But what’s dangerous and tricky – he will make you think, that you actually can fool him. Generally, there are two types of people – one who will say “always be the smartest guy in the room” and one who will keep their cards to themselves. Benoit Blanc is in the second group – but I can say that now, after watching the movie. His British-ness was pouring out of him, like from overfilled tea cup. Was he trying to be like Sherlock Holmes? Oh, definitely. Did he succeed? You tell me!
On the other side, we have America’s sweetheart, Chris Evans. And finally, we could see him as the America’s asshole!!! And you know what? He absolutely crushed it. That charming devil can trick you, fool you, make you look like an idiot, and you would still say thank you.
Matter of fact, eat shit. How’s that? [as the family are all shouting at him] Eat shit, eat shit, eat shit… *definitely* eat shit…
Pure mischief, rich kid that thinks he’s allowed to do everything and that he is entitled to the world. Evans’ dynamics with rest of the cast were/are admirable. He proved that he’s not only Captain America, or a cool dad from Gifted, or a “player” from Playing it cool, or melancholic stranger from Before We Go. Now, how many of you watched those 3 movies? Marta, I know you did, you’ve watched them all 😀 Chris Evans is very talented, and he is ready to show it on the big screen. And silver screen too, with Defending Jacob (coming soon, I guess) going on? Count me in.
Now, I told you about charismatic detective and charming asshole. It’s time to write a little about anxious sidekick. Ana de Armas is something new. She brought the freshness into the story. Sweet nurse, that became right hand of our detective. Her anxiety had… Well, quite funny symptom: she can’t lie. If she does, she will throw up, instantly.
Lakeith Stanfield playing confused policeman was brilliant. Now, I know him from TV series Atlanta (I am so proud of my Atlanta babies: Donald Glover is just being Donald Glover, Zazie Beetz and Brian Tyree Henry rock on the big screen (both in Joker) and Lakeith is keeping up with his Sorry to bother you). He was assigned to resolve this mystery, but he decides to accept Benoit Blanc’s help. And this is where things starts to get complicated. And tricky. And confusing. But he just goes with the flow, being a careful observant. Cherry on top.
So the story goes on. Your host smiles, hearing your version of who killed Harlan Thrombey and why does the NURSE got his fortune, his estates and publishing company. It’s a heated discussion, and every once in a while, he throws you a bone, unraveling another piece of a puzzle. But no one is even close to find out the truth. So, while his wife is gathering dirty dishes, he puts another log into the fire and… Continues to reveal what happened.
Rian Johnson puts you inside a criminal novel, the old-school one. He brings back the thrill of a great suspense, sharpens our senses with great cinematography and characters so out of place, but at the same time, fitting perfectly into the picture. Each cast member playing one of Thrombeys is beautifully erratic, on the edge, comic and absurd.
Knives Out is madly entertaining, showing a classic murder story with modern twist, but with utter respect to the traditional way. This movie feels like Agatha Christie best novel combined with Cluedo, but with personal touch of Rian Johnson.
He smiles at you, but this is a proud smile. He’s proud of himself, he’s proud of the story. You did not see that coming, and you will spend entire night talking about it. Seeing you and your friends arguing about it, he slowly stands up from his chair, and without being noticed, leaves you. He did it again! Great detective saved the day.
What will come next?! It was so different than another GREAT movie that I wrote about, and you can read about it here.