Movies - TV
With Knives Out, Rian Johnson Nailed A Key Detail For Making A Murder
Mystery Series
By MICHAEL BOYLE
At first appearance, Rian Johnson’s 2019 murder mystery film “Knives Out” seems to be about the charismatic detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) as he investigates the death of a wealthy novelist. However, it becomes clear that Marta (Ana de Armas), the novelist’s nurse and apparent sole heir, is the central character as she navigates the mystery and difficult situation.
Johnson explained in an interview, “It’s a mistake of the genre to think that your detective is your main character. Benoit Blanc is the constant North Star of all of these movies. But you have to think of him as the detective, not as the central character.” This approach isn’t unusual, as many successful detective stories, including “Sherlock Holmes,” don’t center on the investigator.
Where the detectives tend to stay the same throughout the investigation, characters like Marta and Dr. Watson from “Sherlock Holmes” can grow and change as the story progresses, giving the audience someone they can relate with. Although Blanc will be the only constant character in the entire film series, he will likely never be the main focus.