This was a movie that I was reluctant to give it a watch, given Rian Johnson’s track record, as of late. I’m referring, of course, to The Last Jedi, which he wrote the screenplay for, in addition to directing it. It was, generally, on good word of mouth, from reputable sources, that I went to see Knives Out; and I must say, I had a great time watching it.
Not only does it have a very solid script; the Cinematography is gorgeous, and the cast is magnificent, especially Ana de Armas.
There are two things that I highlighted about Johnson’s work on The Last Jedi. First; he’s got a very good collaborator on Cinematographer Steve Yedlin. And second; he’s quite adept at directing actors.
Clearly inspired by the works of Agatha Christie, from which he takes most of her writing tropes like; the eccentric, but brilliant private detective, the ensemble of shady, and weird characters, and a unique setting in the form of an old mansion with very strange decor. The storytelling tool of showing the same sequence of events as told by each one of the characters from their point of view is also extensively, but not exhaustingly used. As per usual, but justifiably in this case, Johnson throws a surprise or two our way to subvert our expectations on how the story is going to unfold. And it works like a charm.
With endless amounts of black humour, surprising twists and turns, and a cast and crew on top of their game, this is one of the best cinematic surprises of the year, and a somewhat redeeming movie for Rian Johnson, after the debacle that was The Last Jedi. Don’t let yourself be put off by Johnson’s previous movie. This one is a winner.
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