Thank God for Knives Out, and I mean that sincerely. I do not wish to bury Frozen II, but it just was not meant for me. And that is my last word on the matter. The two movies could not be more different than night and day. If Frozen II is the day, then I was happy to get back to the night. Yet the implication here might be that Knives Out is a more adult film with grown-up themes. It was not, however, that simple.
Knives Out is a classic murder mystery, but before I reveal more I will say spoilers ahead. The key event in the plot is the death of famous author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). As with many rich and powerful families, Thrombey’s success became his children’s inheritance and one they feel entitled to by birthright. To be clear, Thrombey’s sons, daughters, and grandchildren have a sense of entitlement and, more to the point, are spoiled. Thus when Thrombey dies, there is are a family full of suspects who are all eager to secure the spoils.
There is a double twist, though, in Knives Out that takes it in unexpected directions. As it turns out, it is Thrombey’s young nursing assistant, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), who is the one who witnesses the passing of the family patriarch. Furthermore, so close of a relationship had they developed, that Thrombey named Cabrera as his heir, cutting out the rest of his family.
It is Cabrera who is the shining star of Knives Out. In most movies of this nature, a character like hers would be some sort of flawed individual, and the results of the film would result in some kind of change. It is a tried and true formula, and there is really nothing wrong with it. Yet she consistently does the right thing, particularly (and without going into too much detail) when she is presented over and over with ways of proving her innocence and getting away with her new fortune. Since it is my faith that informs my viewing of these films, I laud such a person in this kind of malevolent setting. It is interesting because the Bible is full of people who are full of traits we might find questionable, save for a few like the mother of God. Cabrera is very much in the mold of Mary.
The rest of Knives Out is just clever and enjoyable window dressing for one of the best characters to come along in a film in some time. Despite the tangled events that Cabrera finds herself in, she does not necessarily want the millions that were suddenly dumped into her lap. That is the kind of person you want coming into that kind of money. I appreciated Daniel Craig’s performance as Benoit Blanc as well, but it is Cabrera who, like my faith, had my heart.