In this section of our Colossus Movie Guide for Knives Out, we answer questions you have about the movie. If you’re curious about plot explanations, meanings, themes, lessons, motifs, symbols, or just confused by something, ask and we’ll do our best to answer.
- Benoit Blanc – Daniel Craig
- Detective Lieutenant Elliot – LaKeith Stanfield
- Marta Cabrera – Ana de Armas
- Harlan Thrombey – Christopher Plummer
- Linda Drysdale – Jamie Lee Curtis
- Richard Drysdale – Don Johnson
- Hugh Ransom Drysdale – Chris Evans
- Walt Thrombey – Michael Shannon
- Donna Thrombey – Riki Lindhome
- Jacob Thrombey – Jaeden Martell
- Joni Thrombey – Toni Collette
- Meg Thrombey – Katherine Langford
- Trooper Wagner – Noah Segan
- Fran – Edi Patterson
- Alan Stevens – Frank Oz
- Written by – Rian Johnson
- Directed by – Rian Johnson
Knives Out | Questions and Answers
Why did Ransom hire Blanc?
Blanc kind of explains it at the end. But two things happened here. First, Ransom’s plan didn’t go as he had imagined. By switching the labels on Harlan’s medication, he thought it would trigger an overdose and there would be no one to blame but Marta. When the cause wasn’t an OD but Harlan taking his own life via a throat slash, Ransom had to go to plan B. There was a recent profile about Benoit Blanc. Ransom must have been aware of this and decided to hire him Which was Ransom’s second problem: he was arrogant. He thought he was smart enough to manipulate the situation to his advantage. And it almost worked. The only thing Ransom didn’t account for was Blanc being as good as advertised. Ransom never considered that Blanc might be smarter than him. That even Marta might be smarter than him. If he had left it solely to local authorities, maybe he would have won the day.
Why did Benoit Blanc keep playing the piano note?
Blanc is an entirely new character. Not an established name like Sherlock Holmes. So it makes sense to give him some sort of build. Johnson goes about this by gradually making Blanc’s presence known. First, we don’t see him at all. Then he’s present, but only in the background. The piano playing is a way of beginning to call attention and anticipation as to who this guy is. Why is he even there? You could do this merely through visual means, like cutting to Blanc at random points. Or through dialogue, by having characters ask about Blanc. But the piano playing adds a nice audio cue. Almost like the music from Jaws. The piano notes build until finally Blanc takes over the film.
Why was the knife Ransom uses fake?
The knife in question isn’t one Ransom brought from home and had on his person. When he decides to attack Marta, they’re standing right in front of Harlan’s theatrical throne with its halo of knives. Ransom pulls a knife from the throne then lunges at Marta and lands a blow with it. After a beat, everyone realizes it’s a toy, not an actual weapon.
The irony here is that you have to wonder how long Harlan had that chair and if everyone in the family just assumed the weapons were real? Has no one ever…you know…checked? Given how many kids were constantly running around, it makes sense why Harlan wouldn’t use real blades. It just feels like a bit of a joke at the expense of the Thrombeys. Like they’re the kind of people to spend years around this chair and just assume the knives were real and never check.
What did Harlan’s letter to Linda say?
Harlan and Linda would often pass hidden messages to each other, starting from when she was young. He wrote this note to tell her about her husband’s infidelity. The method adds a touch of nostalgia, compassion, and kindness to what is a difficult thing.
Specifically, the note says: My heart. It’s time to cut the dead wood. He’s cheating on you. I have proof I know you don’t want to see. Untether yourself. It’s time. -Dad.
What questions do you have?
Help improve our Colossus Movie Guide for Knives Out by leaving your questions in the comments. We’ll answer it there or add it to the article and notify you. Thank you!