Film review: Knives Out

"Ugly truths and hidden secrets come tumbling into the light... providing plenty of twists and turns to keep viewers guessing which Thrombey held the knife."

Ashwini Saseedaran
December 6, 2019

I don’t know about you, but I’m a HUGE sucker for whodunnits.

So when I heard there was an Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery heading to the big screen soon, rest assured I was the first eager Cluedo-fan to get excited and snap up tickets for an advance screening!

Setting the stage impressively, creators of this flick did well to acquire a massive ensemble cast.

From big names like Daniel Craig (007), Chris Evans (Captain America), Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music) and Jamie Lee Curtis (A Fish Called Wanda), to some of our very own, Toni Collette (Muriel’s Wedding) and Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why).

But no-one steals the show quite like Cuban actress Ana de Armas (War Dogs) - enacting Marta, a young house nurse looking after the wealthy Thrombey family head and (ironically) crime novelist Harlan in his spectacular mansion.

De Armas skilfully steps into the role with ease; her impressive portrayal of a kindhearted, nervous and awfully honest South American woman is what makes this whodunnit memorable and different to most.

Testament to Marta’s genuine good-nature, Harlan builds trust in her and soon the role of mere caretaker transitions to confidant and friend.

On his 85th birthday, all of Harlan’s money-hungry family members gather at his home and seemingly circle like sharks around him wanting more for themselves.

Shockingly, the next morning Harlan is found dead.

Centred around the premise of his unexpected demise, the plot follows the classic whodunnit tale as detectives and a Southern-drawled mysterious hired private investigator (Daniel Craig) eagerly question the eccentric family members and housekeepers to figure out what exactly transpired that night.

Ugly truths and hidden secrets come tumbling into the light soon enough, providing plenty of twists and turns to keep viewers occupied and guessing which Thrombey held the knife.

As the captivating story navigates through each possible scenario, each character comes to the forefront taking their share of the limelight; each seemingly guiltier than the next. So no wonder a great big starry cast was enlisted for this project. The character arcs are well-balanced, carefully planned and beautifully played.

The storyline is unique, compelling, and I believe, does justice to the great Agatha Christie. Whether or not you shelve it a classic is your call, but personally, I found the feature film relatable, raw and real - something big Hollywood movies can sometimes lack. So yes, I for one will be classifying this a definite must-watch!

So for those like me with an innate investigative streak in their blood, head to the cinemas and catch this film!

You’ll thoroughly enjoy the cat-and-mouse chase, and possibly leave the cinema craving donuts, that’s if you weren’t sickened to the stomach by all the vomiting… Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you! 

Ashwini Saseedaran

Thanks for visiting Perth Underground! I’m Ash - a reading, writing, exploring woman who loves asking the most absurd questions at random times. I love Perth almost as much as I love my dog (which is a lot). My natural habitat is wrapped in a blanket, with an almond milk chai, a good book, sticky notes, jazz music and my Cavoodle curled up next to me. If you’ve got something weird, wacky and wonderful to share about Perth then I’m the girl who wants to tell it to the world so don’t forget to drop me a line!