Clever whodunnit minus the typical cosy vibe.
The film centers around the supposed suicide of crime fiction writer Harlan Thrombey. All of the suspects to his possible murder are called up to his mansion for questioning by famous sleuth Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig). The cast includes several other big names including Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette and Don Johnson.
Genre-wise this is right up my alley, having grown up watching Agatha Christie films, playing Cluedo, and even the Harlan Thrombey is clearly a homage to my favourite childhood Choose Your Own Adventure novel, ‘Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey?’.
This is a murder mystery for today – 2019, complete with political references. Whilst I appreciate that this sets it apart from old-fashioned whodunnits, I really notice the nostalgia and atmosphere as being a missing ingredient to the film’s charm and enjoyment. It doesn’t beg to be watched with a hot drink and a sweet treat.
I can’t fault the plot, it has the usual twists and turns of a great murder mystery, but the story is structured in a more interesting and surprising way that keeps you guessing. Director and writer Rian Johnson has done a great job in this regard. It seems like directors are producing some of the most intelligent mystery writing in recent years – Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Ari Aster’s Midsommar spring to mind.
It’s a solid 3.5 from me.
Knives Out premieres in Sweden on 29 November.
Photographs © Claire Folger / Nordisk Film