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My Viewing Lens

I recently watched Knives Out as a fun escape from the day-to-day activities of life. It was nice to get caught up in the mystery, see the dynamics of the characters play out as the detective solves the real crime. However, there is, at least for me, another mystery in this movie.

I won't go into the movie itself. Instead, I present to you the second mystery in the movie. Why does one of the characters require a nurse? The facts presented are: the character is 85 years old; has recently hurt his shoulder; requires injectable medication, and has had the nurse for a while.

As someone with an invisible condition, I cannot help but view this movie through my lens which leads to the question why this character needs a nurse. My friend who watched this movie with me insisted it was because the character is elderly. She's probably correct, but it does make me wonder if there isn't a better way to demonstrate invisible conditions on the big screen.

Since movies are mostly about what we see, the rub of invisible conditions comes into play. By their very nature, they are, well, invisible. Currently, we learn about characters with these conditions through dialogue or stereotype symptoms.

The problems with these approaches are: well-developed dialogue does not do justice to living life with a chronic condition, nor does showing stereotypical symptoms paint a realistic view of our lives.

Think about it for a moment. How easy is it to have a character with mobility issues? There are props for this, such as wheelchairs, canes, or scooters. Now consider how depression is shown on the big screen, where there are few props to help demonstrate this condition. Some people might demonstrate depression by having a character always wear pajamas, perhaps have messy hair, and hardly get out of bed. Is this a fair or accurate portrayal of depression? I don't think so. However, the fact that invisible conditions are being discussed or demonstrated in some fashion in the entertainment industry is a huge first step.

If you've watched the movie Knives Out, please let me know your thoughts on the need for the nurse, other than to flesh out the plot or be present for an elderly character.

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Jan 14, 2020


That’s exactly why we posted to Knives Out poster in the email prompt :)

I actually thought the nurse wasn’t really needed other then to flesh out the plot and get the movie going in the direction it wanted to go. However much like how people view other people with disability’s, I am no one to say if he does need it or not. We don’t know the extent of what he suffers from other than her being an overall caretaker and helping give his medicines. But in terms of what was shown on screen, it did seem she was a bit unnecessary. Again though we don’t know the extent of what she does so it’s hard to sa…

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