I haven’t seen Kenneth Branagh’s 2017 version of “Murder on the Orient Express” but, being a fan of Agatha Christie’s books and in particular her Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, I made it my mission to see the Branagh take on “Death on the Nile”.
A Quick Summary
Newlyweds, Simon Doyle, and his beautiful heiress wife, Linnet Ridgeway, are honeymooning in Egypt. Hercule Poirot, there on holiday, is invited to join a cruise down the Nile hosted by the couple. But it doesn’t take Hercule long to realise that all is not well on board. Beyond the glamour and the flow of champagne lies unbridled passion, seething resentment and jealousy. When a passenger is murdered, Poirot wastes no time searching for the identity of the person responsible. The trouble is that most of the people on board have a motive.
” The crime is murder. The murderer is one of you. I have investigated many crimes, but this has altered the shape of my soul. I am detective Hercule Poirot, and I will deliver your killer.”
Watch The Official Trailer
You can watch the official trailer on You Tube here:
As it’s been a while since I read this novel, my enjoyment of this movie wasn’t marred by comparison to the original. But now I’ve seen the movie, I plan to re-read the book. In this version, Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule seems more emotional and human than his TV counterpart, David Suchet’s Hercule Poirot. I’m interested to find out if that comes across in the book.
The movie opens in 1914 with a young Hercule Poirot. We get to meet the love of his life and we also find out why he sports such an impressive moustache.
Then the movie jumps 20+ years from 1914 to 1937. By this time, Hercule Poirot has established himself as a famous detective. As he watches the nightclub singer, Salome Otterbourne, perform at a Jazz Club, you can sense his attraction to her, showing that he has a sensitive side. But then his attention is captured by a young couple on the dance floor.
Fast forward six weeks and we’re in Egypt (finally!). Hercule Poirot is having breakfast in front of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids. And so the main events of the story begin.
To be honest, I found this “intro” quite long and a little slow. I realise it was there to show a different side to Poirot and also provide some back story, but it felt a little contrived. The writer in me thought that information could have been woven in later. Also, I didn’t see the point of the final scene but overall I enjoyed the movie. There was no shortage of glamour with a magnificent cast bedecked in fabulous costumes against a backdrop of stunning scenery.
Yes, it was a little slow in parts, but overall it was worth the trip to the cinema.
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