Agatha Christie brought to life in another light, new actors and a new director, and in a film. From the 1934 novel to a new 2017 film. As a fan of the television programme Agatha Christie’s Poirot, it was hard for me to come to grips with a new Poirot as David Suchet is such a brilliant detective and amazing to watch in this show. When announced that director and star Kenneth Branagh (personally most famous as Gilderoy Lockhart in ‘The Chamber of Secrets’) would be the new Poirot, I wasn’t sure how to take it, it didn’t seem quite right as, to me, David Suchet will always be the best Poirot, and after watching the film I will still stand by that. Nevertheless, he was not a bad Poirot and in fact did play it well.
Agatha Christie is famous for the brilliance in her crime novels and her renowned detectives of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. One of her most well-known novels was ‘Murder On The Orient Express’ in which this film is based on. So as you can probably guess, a murder happens on the orient express, a steam train for those who don’t know. It just so happens that one of the best detectives in the world happens to be on that train, Hercule Poirot, so therefore becomes detective on the case. Easily done, everyone not in first class is immediately excluded from the suspect list. Here then comes the amazing cast and the brilliant characters we learn about. Firstly, the victim, which I surprised to be killed off, was the one and only Johnny Depp playing Ratchett. This leaves as the trailer so dominantly advertises: The Professor, The Butler, The Count, The Assistant, The Governess, The Missionary, The Widow, The Salesman, The Maid, The Doctor, The Princess. The brilliance of the cast lies in (and recognisable for me): Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench. Of course, everyone in this film is amazing though, they all play their characters to perfection.
The mystery of the film was excellent, I was warped into the film, dying to know who was the murderer, excuse the pun… And one of the greatest things of the film was that I couldn’t guess, I could not guess the ending, I was sucked into the film until the very end, until Poirot did what he always did, reveal the killer in his own spectacular way, in front of the whole crowd, the audience included.
One thing that does have to be mentioned is the brilliance of the camera work in this film. Forget the normal shot reverse shots or the standard profile camera shot, this film had shots from the ceiling, or crane shots from bottom to top of the screen, or even camera shots through blurred windows which seemed like the audience is sneaking up in the mystery of the film. Of course there were the normal shots as well, but the interesting change in camera angles really did add to the whole essence of the film. We had the potential to see from all angles, but we were restricted in so many ways.
I really enjoyed this film, there is no needs to compare it to others, because as it stands alone it’s a great film. For those who have never experienced Hercule Poirot you get all the information and background of his character from this film, so if you’re a newbie don’t worry. It’s an enjoyable mystery film and I would recommend it.