Shortly after his 85th birthday, famous and extremely wealthy novelist Harlan Thrombey is found dead in his study of an apparent suicide. It seems to be a closed case, at least until private inspector Benoit Blanc is hired anonymously to further investigate. The detective in “Knives Out” questions Thrombey’s daughter, Linda, son, Walt, and daughter-in-law, Joni, along with Harlan’s caretakers and other relatives. Blackmail, countless lies, a shocking will, and possible motives further intensify the complicated case Blanc has gotten himself into.
Familial and Inheritance Drama
Harlan made millions of dollars from writing crime novels, and when the news of his death reached his family members, one of their primary worries was who would be receiving what from his assets. Overheard conversations by various members of the family seemed to allude to the idea that some members, like Harlan’s scheming grandson, Ransom, would be receiving nothing at all.
But in a shocking turn of events
, the reader of the will reveals that nothing will be left to the immediate family-instead, the house and everything in it, the publishing company, the millions of dollars, and the rest of Harlan’s belongings will be left to his caretaker, Marta, a young immigrant who recently took on more hours with Harlan.
As the movie continues, more and more scandals are revealed surrounding an affair, thievery of Harlan’s money, and overall greed and selfishness. The drama concerning the inheritance and the family members adds something special to the plotline.
Most movies that deal with a mystery, especially a possible murder, try to push off revealing what happened until the very end of the film. “Knives Out” takes a different approach, one that is similar to many Agatha Christie novels.
The first chunk of the movie is interrogation and questioning, where Blanc learns from each of the suspects what happened that night, where each of them was, and what their relationship with their father was like, and he also goes through many pieces of evidence. However, before the movie is even halfway through, in a flashback, viewers find out what really happened between Marta and Harlan the night he died, and that Marta may not play such an innocent role in the whole matter after all.
The private inspector is working with who appears to be the murderer for most of the movie, a concept not commonly found in movies and books. And at the end, Benoit Blanc reveals what truly happened
to Harlan that night, as well as what happened to the housekeeper that died, and why the medical examiner’s office was burnt down.
After sifting through all the lies and deceit that had been thrown his way, Blanc is able to piece together the truth, which likely isn’t at all what viewers had believed it to be. Even though the mystery appears to be solved before the movie is even halfway over, more is unraveled that proves what Marta believes happened, may not have actually happened at all.
Tension and Suspense During “Knives Out”
“Knives Out” has plenty of suspense and tension that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. It moves rather slowly for a mystery and doesn’t rely on action or violence, but rather on intelligent, thought-out plans to throw investigators, family members, and even viewers off the trail.
The careful piecing together of all the clues that are left behind helps build the tension and overall suspenseful mood until the big reveal. The different personalities and assets of the characters, such as Marta’s kind heart and inability to lie, as well as Ransom’s two-faced personality and Harlan’s generous but ruthless persona, add to the mystery of who’s really telling the truth and what or who may have caused certain things to happen.
In the end, the movie, resemblant of an Agatha Christie novel, masterfully creates twists and turns to keep viewers guessing, and beautifully blends together a star-studded cast, murder mystery, and family drama for a suspenseful and entertaining movie.