Spoiler alert: I am trying very hard not to give any major spoilers, but since I am commenting on the movie and the plot, you may learn things that you wouldn’t like to know if you haven’t watched it yet… if so, please pause here and come back after you have watched it, the movie is totally worth it! Specially for the holidays season.
We start at the very beginning with a fugue by Bach (BWV 578 “Little Fugue”, or rather an arrangement of it), and they hooked me up right there! Bach is my favourite composer, and counterpoint and fugue are very dear to my heart. This is the style of composition that enabled the transition from the unidimensional Gregorian Chant from the middle ages to the multidimensional, polyphonic works of Renaissance and Baroque period. It is to music what the development of perspective is to painting. This is also very appropriate for the construction of the plot, since like an onion, you have several layers that together makes a whole.
Of course we cannot ignore the several references to Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, beginning with Benoit Blanc, the detective itself (by the way, I loved that they made him clearly gay, with the cameo appearance of Hugh Grant as Phillip, his partner). From the recluse island of And Then There Were None — with the hourly gong, that at the first time it was played reminded me of the recording of the voice letting the suspects know why they were there — to the elaborate plot of Evil Under the Sun with hints to the time the events occurred. On the other hand, we have a clear departure from the Golden Age mystery plot with the action going back and forth in time as the story unfolds, every time peeling one layer of the onion, until at the end we return to the classic “everyone in one room gathering” when the solution is finally revealed.
What was sweet and sour to me was the explicit pandemic references, even with allusions to conspiratorial theories that it was all fabricated, or that at least there was a vaccine or antidote early on, available only to the ultra rich. This also helps to set the tone against all the suspects, which were labeled as disruptor innovators. They are there to break things and put new ones in place, even to the detriment of the entire society.
As in the previous Knives Out movie, this is a stelar cast with spot on interpretations. Kudos to all of them and the director!