Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective with the ‘little grey cells’ is back on the Big Screen! This time in the form of actor / director Kenneth Branagh, the 2017 film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express is a sold enough version of the Agatha Christie whodunnit.
Originally written in 1934, Christie’s novel takes to the screen with an all star cast, and a screen play by Michael Green (previously Logan and Bladerunner 2049) .
The film finds Branagh’s detective embarking on a return journey from Jerusalem (having solved a theft there) to Istanbul, where he joins the Orient Express to Calais. On board with a group of strangers, Poirot’s intended restful journey lasts only a short time before murder is afoot…
Branagh makes good work of the classic role of the Belgian detective and the rest of the talented supporting cast all play their roles with quality. In truth the thing that lacks in this film is born out of the source materials. It’s hard to not think the good parts of audiences Will find Christie’s original plot somewhat overly contrived against the backdrop of today’s movie thrillers.
I’m sure the statement will be made that with such a talented ensemble cast, more could’ve been achieved than actually is. However, I’m sure the part of the reason that This cast came together in the first place was the opportunity to play a role in this classic story.
What does play out on the big screen though is a beautiful advert for the decadent travel of the 1930s. Through the landscapes that the film shows in the beauty of the actual locomotive that the film takes place in, it’s hard to not think that sales on the modern day Orient Express will skyrocket as a result of this film.
I suspect that television will remain the primary vehicle for adaptations of Agatha Christie’s work, with the BBC’s Version of “And then there were none”, a recent memorable example.
Overall then what we have is an enjoyable adaptation of one of the most famous stories in murder mystery fiction, and there’s nothing wrong with that.