Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express - The Movie

There isn't a mystery lover alive who doesn't know the plot of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. The newest film version features a cast that includes Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot, as well as Dame Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Willem Defoe, Penelope Cruz and many others.

My first thought when I heard about the remake was why, then my second was Kenneth Branagh as Poirot. To both of those I was pleasantly surprised. The movie was beautifully filmed (sometimes in miniature) with the exception of a couple of contrived shooting angles, and the cast plays their parts well.

For those who do not know the plot, a group of strangers embark on the Orient Express railroad from Istanbul to Paris with connections to Dover then London. When one of the passengers in murdered in his sleeping car, Poirot is called upon the solve the crime. Complicating matters is an avalanche. It has blocked the track so the train is stopped on a bridge in the Alps.

Naturally with 12 passengers there are plenty of suspects. Is it the arrogant Princess Dragomiroff, the volatile Count Andreyni, the stuffy Austrian Professor, the secretary to the murdered man, the aging blond looking for a husband or any one of the others?

Monsieur Poirot is stumped at first because of the various clues left at the scene, but then he uses his "little gray cells" to solve the murder.

I've read Murder on the Orient Express several times and I remember the original movie so I did not know what to expect from this new version. I was pleasantly surprised and it held my attention throughout.

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