Knives Out Analysis

My first guess what that the OS (or maybe RS) would be in Manipulation. Everyone lying to everyone, acting crazy and insane, eccentric investigator, Harlan directing Marta, etc.

And I had thought that Marta was stuck in a situation, both/either being framed for murder and being the one who thinks she murdered him and is under investigation.

I agree with OS>Manipulation.

For Marta, what are her actions?

She vomits around lies.
Everyone loves her, but nobody knows where she’s from. (Lack of reputation)
She is meek.
When she’s told to do things, she does. (She adapts)

Also, @JohnDusenberry, there is no correct order.

She does do all those things, but are any of those really the source of her overall conflict?

My gut is telling me the source of her conflict is being under investigation for murder.

To test/balance, What’s the opposing POV all about?
What do Harlan and Ransom do as IC’s that incites conflict for all? (Some of this might be OS stuff, but want to lay it all out)

  • Harlan makes a last minute decision to change his will. “My mind is made up”
  • Harlan makes the quick rash decision to hang up the phone, contrive a convoluted plan to help Marta, and slit his throat.
  • Ransom has clarity of mind, leading him to come back and switch the meds.
  • Ransom bursts onto the scene at the will reading, then sits quietly until he’s pushed to say “Eat sh*t” to his whole family, then laugh and storms out
  • Ransom makes up his mind just the way Harlan did to seemingly get Marta out of trouble, when really he’s set on making sure she takes the fall.

… I feel like he and Harlan’s POV is to do whatever it takes to get their way. Their mind is made up. No changing their mind.

I agree with OS Manipulation for all the reasons mentioned.

I thought this initially – also the Situation of being an immigrant, etc.

But the problem of vomiting when you lie sounds a lot more like a Fixed Attitude problem, doesn’t it?

Also @MWollaeger 's point about adapting.

So does that mean you think that Harlan/Ransom are Do-ers. or…

… be-ers (in Mind)?

From your examples, I would lean toward Do-er. They are looking at problems and taking action to change the environment (change the will, kill yourself to protect the nurse, plan to kill someone get the money, etc.)

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Your family will be deported if you’re convicted, so I’m gonna do something to myself rather than turn to an external solution like calling the police or stopping my family.

Harlan has a bad relationship with his kids, but instead of trying to adapt internally, he tries to solve the problem by changing the environment – cutting them out of his will.

FWIW I always have trouble with Be-er vs. Do-er, especially when you’re trying to separate it from the OS.

The main moment that I think makes it pretty clear is when they think he’s OD’d on Morphine.

Marta rummages though her bag, Harlan takes down notes to use in a future story.
Marta calls 911, Harlan commits to changing himself, by killing himself. Using himself to stage a suicide.
Marta rushes back in to physically stop him, but Harlan has made up his mind and slits his throat.

To me, it seems clear who is the doer, and who is the one who sits and internalizes.

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At the will reading, how does conflict arise and for whom?

  • IC Harlan’s decision is fixed in writing, affecting everyone in the room stirring up chaos and disbelief.
  • And it puts MC Marta in an even bigger situation, now that all eyes are on her as the sole inheritor of everything. Compounding her situation.

Hmm… I’m not sure if that’s a do-er or a be-er thing? Seems like it might depend on context.

Can we look at it through the lens of direction of influence?

For example, when Luke is about to go do crazy things, Yoda tells him to be calm and get in touch with his feelings.

But in this case, when thing go awry, Harlan immediately lays out a plan of action for Marta. I mean, it’s true that in that situation neither one of them would think that they need to just sit and meditate. But what’s more Do-er: calling 911 (no matter what the personal consequences), or running away and hiding your tracks to get away with “murder” as per Harlan’s advice?

This still sounds like it’s consequences of his Do-er actions (he is acting to change the external situation).

Hmm… I don’t have an answer for this.

However, another reason I was leaning toward Marta in Mind is that a lot of her conflict stems from people’s Fixed Attitudes about her. They can’t even remember what country she’s from.

How does other people’s fixed attitudes about Marta represent Marta’s problem unique to herself, devoid of everyone else in the OS? Also… that would be THEIR fixed attitudes about her, not her Fixed Attitude.

To me it seems like a consequence of his fixed attitude. Of his unmoving decision.
He repeats a few times in the movie “my mind is made up” … about the will, about taking the business away from his son, about killing himself to save Marta, about what Marta must omit, about who inherits the will.

What does Ransom do in response to the problem of being cut out of the will?
Does he storm out and tell the family? Go confront Marta? Make a scene? Do anything external?
Does he leave quietly, get in his car and just drive into the night, turning things over in his mind?
What’s his preference?

Maybe it would help to look one level deeper…

  • Marta’s Concerns? Harlan/Ransom’s Concerns?


  • Marta’s Concerns? Harlan/Ransom’s Concerns?

I’m not sure her puking reaction to lies is a source of conflict for her, not really a “problem” so much as it is her Unique Ability.
And if I had to wager a guess, I would say the puking is probably something like Repulsion rather than Impulsive Response, or something to do with Falsehood. Lying isn’t the source of her conflict, it’s just something she can’t do without puking. It’s a physical reaction, not a mental reaction.

From the script:

BLANC: Yes. Marta we were just discussing possible motives in the family. I suspect Harlan has told you much unfiltered truth about each of them, and a little bird has told me, how shall I put this delicately? You have a regurgitive reaction to mistruthin’.
MARTA: Who told you that?
BLANC: Is it true?
MARTA: Yes. It’s something that I have had as a kid. It’s a physically thing that I - I - Just the thought of lying, yeah, it makes me puke.

To me, when I thought of ‘puking at the thought of lying,’ I thought of one gist from the preconscious: ‘gagging at the thought of eggs’. I have no idea what her fixed attitude is (will have to think about that), but her puke-y-ness is definitely an external problem caused by her internal anxiety.

Is gagging at the thought of lies the SOURCE of her conflict?

If only Marta could stop puking at lies, all her problems would go away?
She wouldn’t have mixed up the dose? She wouldn’t have the inheritance… if only she could stop puking?

Looking at Harlan…
If only he would change his mind, his impact would cease to be. Right?

In order to get Marta off, Harlan slits his throat.
In order to frame Marta, Ransom burns down a lab and poisons someone. [quote=“JohnDusenberry, post:29, topic:2733, full:true”]
At the will reading, how does conflict arise and for whom?

IC Harlan’s decision is fixed in writing, affecting everyone in the room stirring up chaos and disbelief.
And it puts MC Marta in an even bigger situation, now that all eyes are on her as the sole inheritor of everything. Compounding her situation.

I believe you are looking at things backwards here, and it drills home why it’s important to find Do-er/Be-er before assigning domains.

It does not matter that Marta has been put in a situation here. Do-er/Be-er are methods of solving problems. Being in a Situation does not mean you react to it like you are a Do-er. (Look at Zootopia. Hopps is the only Prey Cop – Situation – but the real issue is her species-ism.)

So, Problem: Harlan has been overdosed. How do they try to solve this problem? Harlan builds a story [likely, this is OS] and then slits his throat. Her reaction is panic and then to dig in the bag.

Your problems can come from you or be attributed to you. If you have a reputation for being a jerk, that’s other people’s views on you, but you are in Situation because of it.

I’m not 100% sure yet, but that is exactly why Ransom feeds her a bowl of chili.

…and this is how she makes all of her problems go away at the end of the movie.

Isn’t that OS stuff? Does the act of slitting his throat cause conflict for everyone else? Does burning down the medical bank cause conflict for everyone else?

In Zootopia, she’s a Do-er.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but being in an external domain DOES align one with that Approach. You’ll never find a be-er in Universe or Physics.

Glad this film is being analyzed. Loved it!
For me, Marta’s personal problem (separate from all the mystery/crime stuff) is her being the daughter of an undocumented immigrant. If not for that, she wouldn’t have had to go along with Harlan’s crazy plan to cover up the crime. Whenever someone brings up the possibility that her mother would get deported if Marta’s role in Harlan’s death comes out, Marta does something to deal with that problem – do-ing all the things she does the night of the murder, erasing the VHS tape evidence, throwing the piece of the broken eave away, fleeing the cops on a car chase. Marta standing on the balcony at the end holding the mug seemed very be-er to me – she’s more confident and comfortable in her own skin.
So I’d vote she’s a Do-er in Universe and Ransom (and possibly other members of the Thrombey family) are in Fixed Attitude – they all have racist attitudes and see themselves as superior to Marta.

Yes, she’s a do-er. Sorry.

Let me clarify that. Just because you are in a situation (stuck on an island) does not mean you are a do-er. You can choose to try to solve the problem by be-ing. Usually, then you realize the problem isn’t the “being stuck” but “having a bad attitude.”
So, being an immigrant/sole benefactor does not make her a do-er.
But no you’ll never find a be-er in Physics.

I think this is the way to bind Domain to MC Approach.
I hope this doesn’t seem contradictory to my above post.