The Knife

The Knife
The Knife
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A veteran of the National Football League, Asomugha, proves that he is also an outstanding director in his debut. The Slasher chronicles the journey of a black family seeking to achieve the metaphorical American dream, which becomes a grotesque nightmare. The Knife shamelessly tackles intricate concerns about race relations, police responsibility, and wrong assumptions of truth. This movie’s tightly wound 80 minutes packs even more into its tight moments than it appears at first sight such as serious-sounding communications that are easily missed. Your instinctive reaction to this event may not be what you expect.

In his new home late one night Chris (Asomugha) moves carefully from room to room doing final repairs on it. He hears his daughters giggling when they should be asleep. Chris tucks in Amari Price, Aiden Price (his school going children for now), before checking on his baby. After she has fallen asleep himself, Chris slowly slips into bed with his wife Alex (Aja Naomi King), but suddenly awakens when there is a loud noise. Instead Alex lies still throughout her sleep time without disturbance whatsoever . He exits his bedroom cautiously and peers down the hallway. In the kitchen there is a shadow moving around within it.He feels terrified seeing someone standing next to the cupboards.Chris orders him to leave immediately; otherwise he will call the police.

The Knife is also written by Asomugha who ingeniously captures confusion and horror surrounding worst-case scenario ever happening to anyone alive. A father must protect his family first and foremost.A stranger breaks in after midnight with possibly bad intentions in mind.Will law enforcement perceive this situation for what it truly was and its consequences?Alex knows that she won’t look innocent although she never confesses or admits anything.Chris is an African American man living in America.He’s guilty because of simply being black.The police are not going to be helpful towards them.There’s no question about what took place in the kitchen.

As Alex expects, Chris is treated with suspicion by the first responders. The leading police officer (played by Manny Jacinto) fails to sympathize with them as this family trembles.The stakes are heightened when he uses his radio to call for a higher ranking officer.Chris, Alex and their children are becoming more uncomfortable.It’s like they’re no longer welcome in their own home.Detective Carlsen (Melissa Leo) coming only aggravates the situation.She is not borrowing from anyone yet her soothing voice sounds somewhat sweet initially.She’s there to find out what happened.Exactly why she questions each of them one after another.Fear not girls, Carlsen reminds them.There can’t be anything here that would require hiding.

The Knife second half acts are simply mesmerizing. Leo may have to clear some space on his mantle for another Best Supporting Actress Oscar (The Fighter). She is moving unnoticeably around the house hunting for evidence such as a vampire looking for blood drops. Many years in service gave her an instinct that never failed. Being an investigator means being meticulous and being willing break rules when necessary. These scenes will surely rile up those who dislike certain police actions.Carlsen would probably treat Chris differently if he had been white.Her questioning of Alex and the girls leaves one breathless.Wouldn’t a white wife and kids receive less harsh treatment?

Carlsen’s ruthless techniques are not so simple though. This is Asomugha’s daringness at play in his script which forms its message altogether. This could make Carlsen seem like a racist cop out against Chris but it would fit with the perception set up by these narratives wherein all policemen were enforcers of systemic racism who inequitably oppressed black people everywhere.

However, does the first impression of Carlsen’s action right? She believes a cop who called her. The crime scene has inconsistencies with the family’s story. Clearly, they are hardworking, good and common persons struggling to ensure their children have a better future. Hiding something serious cannot be an excuse for them. Choices have consequences in this life too. Maybe it can be suggested that Carlsen is a good police officer only doing her job faithfully?

A tough societal discourse is what Knife hits at its heart. Every black parent knows about “the talk” that comes once kids are confronted by law enforcers. The likes of Tamir Rice, Elijah McClain, George Floyd and just last month Roger Fortson killed in his house paint the picture of many African Americans that police have racial prejudice against them. However, this belief may seem self-defeating, impractical and false through painting all police with one brush as well? Does it lead to dangerous actions when doing nothing and remaining passive is automatically discounted?

Logically speaking why don’t Chris and Alex seek legal representation at once whenever anything seems wrong? But can they pay for such services? In fact, Alex says she is the one who suffered instead of being seen as guilty like others think. Will making an adversarial response make them look guilty even more so in relation to their children? Certain crucial moments are omitted from view so that audiences must infer what actually happened; tellingly we don’t see some key events on screen at all here . You should watch every second of this film including the credits – Asomugha shades The Knife in grayness on purpose – He does not tiptoe around landmines.

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