Well, I’m not so much even thinking of Protagonist/Antagonist. I’m not even sure there is a clear one in the movie.
I’m just thinking more of the four perspectives and how they influence the story mind.
I’m thinking less about the subject matter of the movie, and more about what Rian was communicating to us.
I don’t think reacting to the poisoning is the start of the movie. I think taking action after Harlan decides to change the will is the thing that starts the movie.
If Harlan hadn’t decided to change his will, Ransom would’ve never switched the meds. Marta and Harlan would’ve never been in the predicament of the overdose… and on and on it goes.
But yes, I think the goal is about becoming.
I’ve been doing the Mentorship with Jim, and we covered Becoming stories… and to summarize, this is where we landed on the general feel and common elements.
Even when it’s more serious subject matter, there’s a sort of playfulness to these movies. Usually a principal character who is overtly snarky/ sarcastic. A lot of banter. Stakes always seem to be about family connections at risk.
We looked at films like:
- All About Eve
- The Santa Clause
- Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman
- Pretty Woman
Films where things are basically in constant flux, things changing were central to the themes. Fundamental changes like… someone dying, changing of a family, changing one’s nature, losing a job, gaining a new job, etc. etc.
And we found that this theme trickles down into every little aspect of the movie too. People leave for good one moment, then show back up the next. Things are one way one moment, then change on a dime the next.
So when I watched Knives Out, that’s mostly what I saw:
- Changing the will
- Changing the meds
- Calling the police, then NOT calling the police
- Leaving the house, then coming back to the house
- Changing clothes, going up the stairs then down the stairs
- Interviews done, Interviews reopened
- Benoit leaving, Benoit staying
- Marta off the hook, Marta hired as his Watson…
and on and on it goes…
Not that these are the sources of conflict (some are) but they’re common thematic elements that appear throughout Becoming movies.