I have to confess, I have only read one Agatha Christie novel. Most of my knowledge of her work has been from TV adaptations of ‘Miss Marple’ and ‘Poirot’. Weirdly enough, I have never watched an adaptation of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, so I went into the cinema with no idea of what this was about and who the murderer would be.
Actually the main reason why I wanted to watch this film was because of the plethora of stars in it. It features some impressive stars such as Johnny Depp, Daisy Ripley, Penelope Cruz, Shakespearean actor Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Branagh, who is also the director, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leslie Odom Jr, Williem Defoe, Olivia Coleman (one of my favourite tv actresses) and finally, Dame Judy Dench.
‘If Judy Dench is in this,‘ I reasoned’ it has to be good.’
I’m pleased to say, that this is a very good film.
The plot of this film revolves around Detective Hercule Poirot, the best detective in the world; his words, not mine, being called to solve a crime, in some far off place. He decides to make a bit of a holiday of it and manages to land a seat on ‘The Orient Express’, one of the most luxurious trains in the world. Good gig so far, right? Wrong.
During the journey, one of the passengers is murdered in his bed and it’s up to Poirot to find the murderer, whilst the train is stuck in a snow drift.
One of the things I loved the most about this film, was the look of it. It is beautiful. From the stunning views of the mountains from the train, to the interior of train itself, this is a feast for the eye. I didn’t know a mostly motionless train could be filmed in such an interesting way!
Something that surprised me about this film, was how much humour was in it. I am used to watching David Suchet in the role of Poirot, so I wasn’t sure how I would feel watching Kenneth Branagh play the Belgian detective. He was still prim and proper, but he also had some funny one liners, which was refreshing.
I really enjoyed the way the plot of this film twisted and turned, so that I thought I knew who committed the crime, but then my mind switched to another one of the suspects. In the end, I didn’t guess the murderer and really liked the ending.
I think the fun of this film, is trying to figure out ‘whodunnit’, but I suppose if you have read the novel before watching the film, I don’t know if it would be as much fun to watch.
I can see this version of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ becoming one of those classics that is shown every Christmas and I hope there will be more ‘Poirot’ films like this in the future.
I would recommend watching this novel, both if you are a fan of Agatha Christie or if you like a good mystery.
My Rating **** 1/2
Have you watched this film? What did you think of it?
Also, which crime/detective would you recommend?