Film Review: Murder on the Orient Express

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Written by Nate Torres

Persevering mystery of Agatha Christie and her hero Hercule Poirot return to the big screen in the latest adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.  The classic mystery attracted an all-star cast including Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Judy Dench, Daisy Ridley, Derek Jacobi and many others who portray a group of passengers all traveling aboard the luxurious Orient Express.  As the title suggests, a passenger falls victim to murder leaving 12 dynamic individuals suspect to the crime.  It is the archetypal “who done it” story as Detective Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) helps find the murderer amongst the train’s passengers before they can make their escape at the next stop – or worse, kill again.  

The setting takes place in 1934 Europe and though the main events all revolve around the train and its compartments, the production found ways to deliver some amazing scenery, beautifully captured in 65mm. Audiences who find themselves fond of traditional mystery will certainly find this film delightful. The scenes involving Poirot’s interaction with the passengers and his demeanor makes room for comic relief.  Branagh shows great respect for Christie’s original story through script and visual adaptation, while staying true to Poirot and his “magnificent moustaches.” There is, also, some magnificence in the way the cast subversively play out their characters, making them relevant to today.  Touching on issues like race, addiction, greed, guilt and death, the film explores how the human psyche can be pushed to a breaking point and drive one to murder.  Each one of the suspects holds their own quirks and eccentricities that give rise to suspicion and also make for good entertainment.  

Murder on the Orient Express is not at attempt to blow your mind as a mystery. The film contains twists and turns that push even “the greatest detective in the world” to his limits.  If not a fan of playing sleuth, however, cinephiles can still enjoy the film’s gorgeous pictures and camera work while taking their best guess on who did it.

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