Murder on the Orient Express, the famous mystery novel by Agatha Christie, doesn’t leave much room for interpretation. Also, it’s rather difficult to do something that hasn’t been done with it before. Most people know the story and most importantly, the murderer. Also, it’s worth noting that even if it’s one of the greatest works of crime fiction, it doesn’t have too much action or edge-of-your-seat moments.
So, the most difficult part for a filmmaker is to make sure that Hercule Poirot is still keeping people guessing after all this time while interviewing suspects and trying to put clues together. Kenneth Branagh (Hercule Poirot and director) probably tried to move the attention away from this fact by having an all-star cast. He didn’t succeed, as the celebrities on screen don’t manage to make the audience forget about the untimely pace and missing clues in the movie.
Murder on the Orient Express
Out of them all, Michelle Pfeiffer is the one who stands out the most from the crowd of stars. She is always there to lighten the mood and play the MVP of the movie. As for the others, Daisy Ridley seems a bit too young to be part of the story, while Judi Dench barely appears. Penelope Cruz plays another fun character and you can see that she was having fun while doing it.
Another problem is that the movie tries to make Poirot too human. There are also subtle hints that he actually suffers from Asperger syndrome, hence his amazing abilities. Poirot is also flamboyant, with his mustache and the final reveal which see the suspects sitting at a table very reminiscent of Da Vinci’s famous Last Supper.
Johnny Depp is not in the movie for too much to save the day. Also, there are many clues missing from the narrative which fans of Christie’s work will surely notice. All in all, Murder on the Orient Express is not a bad movie, but it could have been much better under different circumstances.
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