‘Murder on the Orient Express’ Review


Based on the 1934 Agatha Christie novel of the same name, Murder on the Orient Express is a mystery drama film starring and directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh. The film is the fourth adaptation of Christie’s novel, following a 1974 film, a 2001 made-for-television film, and the Season 12, Episode 3 of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. The rest of the ensemble cast includes Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Dame Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley. The story follows Hercule Poirot, a world-renowned detective from Belgium, who seeks to solve a murder on the famous long-distance train, the Orient Express, during the mid-1930s. Branagh does a great job of directing this film. He utilizes close-up and angled shots to make the viewer feel confined to a tight space, which works well to bring more believability to the characters being passengers on a train. He also manages to give each supporting cast member equal time so that each interview feels personal and intimate as Poirot tries to deduce who committed the murder. The acting in the film is fun to watch. Some of the dialogue comes across as if the viewer is watching a live Broadway play, which actually makes sense with the story. Branagh, who often plays unique characters, is fantastic as the lead character, Hercule Poirot. He masterfully balances comedic timing with a serious tone, all while maintaining an exquisite Belgian accent. He believes that there is right and wrong and lives with the curse that there must always be balance. It is that thought process that allows him to be such a great detective. Tom Bateman is equally great as Bouc, the director of the Orient Express. His interaction with the other characters provides much of the film’s comedy because he is fast-talking, charming, and brutally honest. Moreover, he is the polar opposite of Poirot, which makes their friendship quite interesting. The rest of the cast pull off a good performance given the screen time they are provided. The only fault the film has is it’s ending. The resolution allows for an interesting answer to the murder mystery, but it could have been handled in a better way. While all loose ends are tied up, there are certain character changes that take away from what we learned about them at the beginning of the film. I give Murder on the Orient Express Decent 8.4/10. Hopefully, this becomes a franchise and more Agatha Christie novels following Hercule Poirot are adapted. The film does hint at a possible sequel.

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  1. […] in the video, Death on the Nile is a murder mystery film directed by Kenneth Branagh and sequel to Murder on the Orient Express. The film stars Branagh, returning as Hercule Poirot, alongside an ensemble cast including Tom […]

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