Knives Out is Entertaining and Meaningful

This was my first time seeing Knives Out and I really enjoyed it. It really has everything you could be looking for in a modern whodunnit. The plot was interesting and had plenty of intrigue and surprises, the cast was loaded with Hollywood superstars, and the characters were funny, interesting, and complex. It is funny but also mysterious, thrilling, and suspenseful. The star-studded cast doesn’t distract from the film, but elevates it with their masterful performances. It’s an extremely entertaining film that truly has something to offer any type of movie fan.

One thing I also liked about the movie was that it included and highlighted important themes, such as racism, immigration, classism, greed, and others. The focus on Marta, a Latina woman, brings many of these issues to light. First, the Thrombey family clearly doesn’t know where her family is from, as they continually name different South American countries when describing where she is from. There is also a constant fakeness in the way the family describes Marta to the detectives as “practically part of the family” and that they will “take care of her,” yet they don’t know where she is from or much else about her. Later in the film, Richard debates with his family about illegal immigration and how immigrants need to do it “the right way.” He then brings Marta into the conversation, in an extremely uncomfortable and cringy scene that made me want to stop the movie from sheer second-hand embarrassment, as an example of someone who does it in the “right way,” even though her mom is technically in the country illegally. And let’s not forget about the “literal nazi” and “right-wing troll” that is the 16-year-old Jacob Thrombey. These very clear examples of racism and xenophobism highlight the ways that many privileged and wealthy people in the United States try to hide these racist views and expectations by hiding them under a veil of tolerance and liberalism. But when push comes to shove, they will immediately devolve into these racist and intolerant views, as seen when the family explodes on Marta when is named the sole heir of Harlan Thrombey’s inheritance. The rest of the family immediately begins insulting her and even go as far as trying to frame her for murder to get back the inheritance. It’s a reminder and vivid example of how the privileged are often only compassionate and giving when it serves them to do so.

2 comments

  1. I agree that I enjoyed the movie because of the fact that it shined a light on many issues, but I think that in addition to all of the above that you named would be sexism. Marta is clearly seen as lesser than for a variety of things throughout the movie, however, I personally think that the family would have accepted the idea of Marta being the victor much more if she had been a male and therefore not seen as a weak undeserving female.

    1. I’d have to disagree with Maggie’s point for the simple reason that there’s no indication that Marta’s experience would have been different if she was a male. There are powerful females in the movie, and they are never questioned as far as their gender is concerned. I think that Marta’s experience as a Latina and a stranger to the family was what led to the anger and wrath of the family.

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