Film Review - Murder on the Orient Express
Murder on the Orient Express
The all-star cast of the long awaiting adaptation has ensured the stakes are quite high for the success of this film. There’s no denying the list of multi-generational stars who feature in the Agatha Christie classic is long and impressive: Dame Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Olivia Colman, Leslie Odom Jr and Johnny Depp to name but a few. Not forgetting Kenneth Branagh of course who stars in the leading role of Hercule Poirot and who also directed the film.
The reviews are indeed mixed. It was always going to be a tough one to pull-off given the perpetrator is well known, what hung in the balance was how Branagh was going make such a hyped up and long awaited classic work – both as director and the sleuth detective himself.
So what is the premise? Hercule is summoned urgently to London. His preferred mode of travel: The Orient Express. Murder strikes and the clock is ticking for Monsieur Poirot ‘probably the greatest detective in the world’, to solve the crime before another of the 13 passengers is slain.
Most argue the film lacks lustre and fails to gather enough momentum, at best ‘chugging’ along at a steady pace. Much attention is furnished on the facial hair Branagh dons for the role as both his moustache and his character seem to disproportionately steal the limelight.
What seems to be universally appreciated however is the cinematography of the film. It is shot in 65mm film and is described by many as elegant and breath-taking. It may be that those who have given the film a poor review merely fail to appreciate the pace of this classic – it’s true that the millennials might not find it whizz bang, loud and flashy enough – though that in itself is not a bad thing, it’s not what this film is about or what it aims to achieve. Would Agatha Christie herself have approved? That we will never know.