Movie Reviews

Knives Out

Genre: Mystery, Comedy

Knives out is a murder mystery which features some of the well known actors of Hollywood, released in late 2019. The trailer of the movie despite being compelling, I procrastinated watching it for this long.

Anyhow, the movie was pure entertainment with the murder investigation going on for two and half hours and comes with a healthy dose of comedy.

So, it begins with two hounds chasing out of a three level mansion. The mansion itself has creepy decor. Why? Because the owner is a Crime Fiction Author! Harlan celebrated his 85th birthday just the day before. His nurse and caretaker, Marta takes his breakfast up to his room next morning, only to discover he committed suicide by slitting his throat. Or that’s what the family believes.

Could it be a murder, considering his wealth is accounted in millions? And the fact that Harlan had a verbal spat with few of his children/grandchildren before and during his Birthday party could have lead to one of them being the murdered.

And the Investigation commences! All family members and the house staff will be interrogated.

Possible suspects?

  1. Walter, second son of Harlan, manages the publishing side of the business. Walter being the crippled son, Harlan gave him a part of his business to handle. His other children were not so fortunate. They had to build their careers from ground up, like Harlan did. So when Walter wanted to branch out of publishing and start investing in adaptations, Harlan fires Walter during his birthday party. Effectively cutting out of his only way of making money. Strong enough motive to kill for a cripple? Maybe.
  2. Richard, Husband of Harlan’s only daughter, was cheating on Linda. Harlan found out and on the night of party, he threatened to tell his daughter himself if Richard does not come clean with his wife! Unlike Walter, Linda did run a successful business whose turnover is in Millions too. Linda made Richard sign a pre-nup before their wedding. If Linda gets to know Richard was cheating on her, she would divorce him and he will not get a single penny! Strong enough motive to keep an affair secret? Could be.
  3. Joni, wife of Harlan’s deceased son, was stealing money from Harlan in the name of Meg, her daughter’s tuition fee. In addition to the yearly allowance she gets from Harlan, after her husband passed away. Harlan found out about it and tells Joni he will no longer extend her the yearly allowance to her and his granddaughter’s tuition fee, just before the party begins. Otherwise broke Joni, has enough motive to kill her father-in-law? Possibly.
  4. The caretaker, Marta is the actual killer, but that’s too easy for the plot. She by mistake, gave him a 100 mg of morphine which can kill him in 10 minutes flat. Easy part? (a) She tells Harlan as much about her mistake and he guides her how to make it out of his home without raising suspicion. (b) She has no motive to kill him.

And then the Will hearing happens. The whole family losses their mind over how Harlan’s properties, liquid cash and assets were distributed. It all goes to one unexpected person, further raising suspicion of murder rather than suicide.

It was really an engaging film. In fact, after a very long time I have completed a movie in one go. The characters were quite entertaining too: Marta and her inability to lie and if she does, she pukes! Quite literally!! Detective Blanc, observant of everyone’s possible motives, concludes the case with flourish! The conclusion itself is something we will not have expected. Every last one of the characters having a purpose in the story makes for an interesting plot.

The movie was well scripted and executed. I rate this film: 5/5.

By Saudhamini Mylaram

HR by profession. Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do apart from gardening, cooking and driving.

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