I know, I know, a day late again. Slap on the wrist and all that! Though I do have an excuse – I was off Sunday night watching Murder on the Orient Express for you all, and would have had no time to write anything before Monday anyway.
It’s fine… we’ll just blame my cinema buddy, Luke!
The Murder on the Orient Express is a detective novel, by Agatha Christie, featuring the well known detective Hercule Poirot. This case was seemingly the most popular case he ever undertook, in or outside of the United Kingdom, so it’s understandable why Kenneth Branagh (both director and Poirot) decided to do this particular case – honestly, I couldn’t name another big case that Poirot did, which is awful I know.
All we know in this film is that someone has died, and there are twelve suspects; The Professor, Butler, Count (and Countess, but she’s ruled out early on), Assistant, Governess, Missionary, Widow, Salesman, Maid, Princess and Doctor. While watching I legitimately had no idea how any of them did it, and I spent all the movie like that (I haven’t read the book though, so it makes sense why they all did).
All in all, I really liked Murder on the Orient Express. It was interesting to watch such prolific actors portray the 1930s – the outfits, accents and the whole thing just felt early 1900s, and I loved it. I wanted all their dresses, that’s for sure.
Before I start my critique, which sounds like I hated the movie for all it’s worth, I really didn’t. I’m really glad I went to see it. I promise I did like it!
It may have had a really slow start, which both Luke and I agreed on; it didn’t need to show me that Poirot was the best detective in the world, everyone knows that – literally everyone. I felt like at least three of the characters didn’t need to be there – sorry Professor, Salesman and Missionary (and perhaps even the Count). They had no story to them, they were there for absolutely nothing and I think Branagh missed a trick by making them integrated into other characters. It may seem fine for a book, but it made the screen messy. I was actually disappointed with some of the acting. It was almost like Branagh being in the movie and directing it meant that he missed some of the wooden and static words. At parts it felt like he even said “No, no, no. Do it MORE wooden.” There were parts where Daisy Ridley (the Governess) barely showed anything, it was like she was forced to.
My last issue was some of the shocking CGI. It’s 2017, and yet there were times where the background looked stunning, but the train looked like someone had cut it out of cardboard and stuck it onto the foreground – it was so 2D it hurt.
I don’t know if I would have paid to see this in an IMAX or at a big cinema, but I am glad I went to see it. I love adaptations, as you guys know, and this wasn’t a bad one. Bar my critiques, I would really suggest you guys see it, even if you wait till it comes out on DVD or onto your subscription service.
Catch the trailer below!
[Header Image: Murder on the Orient Express, 20th Century Fox, 2017]