I wish I could say that I saved the best dinner guest character for last, but in truth Prof. Plum is just a bit of the odd man out. Not to say that he isn’t important; he’s probably one of the strongest characters in the movie, has some of the best gags, has a host of intelligent questions and insights into the goings-on, but like the consummate psychiatrist that he is, he is mostly detached from all the other characters.
As far as the blackmailing ring, he is a bit left out of the intricate web that all the other guests seem to be caught up in: Col. Mustard, Ms. Scarlet, and Mrs. White are all linked to each other thru Yvette, while at least Mr. Green and Mrs. Peacock are tenuously connected by the fact that Mr. Green recognizes her at dinner as also living in D.C.
I’ll grant that connection is exceedingly thin, but at least it’s something. Professor Plum really doesn’t have any connections at all to the rest of the guests, not even living/working in D.C. One has to wonder why Prof. Plum is included in this blackmail ring when the rest of the dinner guests have much deeper ties to the movers and shakers of government.
I speculate that he is an up and comer in the U.N. and the blackmailer is getting hooks in him early to prepare for when he finally does have a key role in world politics. Never hurts to start early, I guess.
That does bring to mind ONE thing Ms. Scarlett says in her ending that ropes him into the web:
When Ms. Scarlet reveals that her real business is espionage, she rattles off all the secrets Yvette found out for her, among them: “the secrets of Senator Peacock’s defense committee, of Col. Mustard’s fusion bomb, Prof. Plum’s U.N. contacts, and the work of [Mrs. White’s] husband; the nuclear physicist?”
There actually two little bombshells in that reveal that weren’t hinted at before. Not only does she imply that Professor Plum is in fact a client of hers, but that Mrs. Peacock’s husband is too! When in the hell was THAT established?
I think maybe those revelations were cut from the final script and writers simply didn’t catch it.
But Plum being at arm’s length from the rest allows for his character to really shine and do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to instigating plot exposition. He can ask the questions the audience needs answers to, and do it while looking like a pro.
What with all the “main” characters done, I think I’ll continue with breaking down the others in future posts. I especially want to cover Wadsworth and Yvette on their own, since so much of the movie hangs on them.