Murder on the Orient Express
9.5 ridiculous moustaches out of 10
I must first confess (because as we all know secrets always come out in the end) that this may be a biased review. I am an Agatha girl living in a hard-boiled world and it was a breath of fresh air to watch this movie.
The renowned detective Hercule Poirot finds himself in this instance heading towards London for an urgent case! To get there he hops on the Orient Express with a mixed bag of people “with nothing in common but a need to go from one place to another”. And of course as it always does for the poor bloke, murder has followed him! While the train is snowed in it’s up to Poirot to use those little grey cells, solve the case and nab the killer before they can get away. But of course everyone has a secret they aren’t telling.
Michelle Pfeiffer and Josh Gad were the standouts delivering emotional, complex characters. It’s a shame the genre doesn’t allow the audience to explore that kind of depth with all the characters. Judi Dench, as she does in everything, deserves as much airtime as possible.
Kenneth Branagh who plays Poirot and directs the film has done a brilliant job at delivering the detective as a complete opposite of the little fat man with slick black hair we are accustomed to. The sheer magnificence of those wild moustaches is quite distracting when you’re trying to pick up on subtle clues.
Some dialogue is delivered in a hard to understand mumble or thick accent that requires a lot of concentration on singular words as opposed to what is being said. Once again distracting us from key hints? I can already see my mother reaching for the remote and turning on the subtitles asking everyone “what did he say? What’s going on?”
There may come a time during the film where even a well read Christie will find the plot a little far fetched. Don’t lose faith in your crime fiction queen though. She is always one step ahead.
In classic “cosy” crime style the audience gets the answers in a very satisfying group meeting where of course everyone’s secrets are laid out and we are left saying “oh my god it was them!….. oh no, he’s moved on”. The only question that we are left with is, will we be headed to The Nile next?
People who aren’t used to this particular sub-genre will find the movie lacking in a gruesome death or heart racing action but those of us who devour the books and indulge in the Marples, the Sherlocks, the Detective Chief Inspector Barnabys, the Phrynes, the Fletchers and that bloke from Death in Paradise (RIP) you will be wildly entertained and engrossed even till the last minute.
Stick with it, listen, look and you may just guess the killer!
But hey, that’s just my opinion.