Knives Out slices through contemporary America
LOS ANGELES – Agatha Christie never imagined anything quite like this.
Murder mystery Knives Out, which opens here on Nov 28, may be inspired by the work of the prolific British crime writer, but its twist on the genre couldn’t be more modern or humorous.
Directed by Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and with a star-studded cast, the whodunit sees Daniel Craig play a debonair southern American detective seeking to unmask the truth behind the death of a wealthy and eccentric patriarch played by Christopher Plummer.
In the process, the film touches on other aspects of the moral landscape of the US in 2019, including such topics as immigration and white privilege.
Johnson said: “We set this movie today in America and the whole idea was this isn’t going to be timeless, this isn’t going to be a sepia old story. We are going to engage with the culture right now.”
While the movie has serious things to say, it’s all done “in a way that you’ll be able to have a laugh at”, he added.
Rarely for a Hollywood movie, Knives Out puts a Latina caregiver, played by Cuban actress Ana de Armas, front and centre.
“I could never think that a Latina in this scenario would just have that much presence and also be highlighted with all these good values,” said de Armas, adding her character is “the moral compass of the story and the heart of the story”.
Running through the murder mystery, complete with red herrings and a large dysfunctional family, is what actor Don Johnson describes as a humorous and honest look at “how entitled people behave towards immigrants and people of colour”.
Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays the eldest daughter of the multi-generational clan, added: “It is not an anti-Trump movie and it is not a pro-Trump movie. It is family conversation about the issues that are plaguing our country.” - REUTERS