Presenters

Garrett BellFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - English

Faculty Sponsor Name

Anna Weinstein

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Rian Johnson’s Knives Out (2019) has been praised by many for its dialogue and its slick, refreshing take on the mystery/thriller genre; but I argue, like many great stories of our time, that it’s the characters in Knives Out that really propel this film near the top of all mystery/thriller triumphs. Rather than reinventing the character archetypes that one would normally see in a film of this caliber, Johnson takes those characters and serves them up in a way that makes them unique to his story: his way. By providing an in-depth analysis of each character in the many twists and turns of a peculiar murder case such as the one featured in Knives Out, I will demonstrate why I believe it’s not only the script’s classic tone, polished dialogue, intricate story, or lavish set pieces that help propel this film into one of the greatest mystery/thriller films of the past decade, but also its eccentric characters. These characters, with their not-too-serious attitudes and ever-present tendencies to be unhinged are characters who could only exist in a film like Knives Out.

Disciplines

Screenwriting

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

Included in

Screenwriting Commons

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A Character Analysis of Knives Out

Rian Johnson’s Knives Out (2019) has been praised by many for its dialogue and its slick, refreshing take on the mystery/thriller genre; but I argue, like many great stories of our time, that it’s the characters in Knives Out that really propel this film near the top of all mystery/thriller triumphs. Rather than reinventing the character archetypes that one would normally see in a film of this caliber, Johnson takes those characters and serves them up in a way that makes them unique to his story: his way. By providing an in-depth analysis of each character in the many twists and turns of a peculiar murder case such as the one featured in Knives Out, I will demonstrate why I believe it’s not only the script’s classic tone, polished dialogue, intricate story, or lavish set pieces that help propel this film into one of the greatest mystery/thriller films of the past decade, but also its eccentric characters. These characters, with their not-too-serious attitudes and ever-present tendencies to be unhinged are characters who could only exist in a film like Knives Out.

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