Rian Johnson Wrote Knives Out About ‘What Politics Does To Your Thanksgiving Dinner’

With most family gatherings, one typically hopes that the love within the family will be enough to overcome those political divisions. That’s sort of what happens in “Knives Out,” although it’s not the Thrombeys’ love for each other that does it. These characters may seem to hate each other for their liberal, conservative, or (in the case of Jaeden Martell’s Jacob) alt-right views, but those differences melt away the moment their wealth is at risk. Even the pro-immigrant Thrombeys have little qualms about threatening to get Marta’s mother deported if it helps them win back their inheritance.

This is how “Knives Out” captures that feeling of betrayal that can come during Thanksgiving political arguments. Just as one wonders how someone they’ve known their whole lives can support something politically “abhorrent,” the movie confronts us with the fact that someone as friendly and seemingly-reasonable as Meg (Katherine Langford) is capable of betraying Marta so easily.¬†

Yes, the idea of a hypothetical rich person doing something like this is understandable, but Marta’s known Meg for years. They’ve become friends who have inside jokes and secrets they trust each other with. We’d expect the other family members to weaponize the immigration status of Marta’s mother against her, but Meg being the one to let the information slip is what really stings. It’s a moment that puts a lot of strain on a once-close relationship, and one that proves class status (especially for white people)¬†will often take precedence over a moral opinion … and maybe people like this, so easily swayed, deserve to lose their undeserved inheritance.

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