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NEW Murder on the Orient Express

glalonzo0408glalonzo0408 Pennsylvania, United States ✭✭✭
Thoughts?

The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes.

Agatha Christie

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Comments

  • I would give the movie three out of five stars. It had many strengths, but also had some glaring weaknesses.

    (Warning: this review contains spoilers)

    Pros:
    -The movie had a great opening with the boy looking to get the two eggs of the same size for Poirot. I also liked the mystery Poirot was asked to solve at the beginning of the movie. It was much more creative and a more serious crime than the silly case Poirot solved in the Suchet version.
    -Kenneth Branagh was an excellent Poirot! Although David Suchet is still my favorite Poirot, Branagh captured both the comic side of Poirot and Poirot's big heart.
    -Although the plot takes a few liberties, it is generally faithful to the book (more faithful than Suchet version, but less faithful than the Finney version)
    -The cinematography was beautiful!

    Cons:
    -Aside from Poirot, Masterman, and Ratchett, the characters were butchered. Many were nothing like their counterpart in the novel. Mrs. Hubbard is still a comic role, but she is changed into a "husband hunter". Hector MacQueen is changed into an alcoholic and a thief. Mr. Bouc is reduced to a ne'er do well son. Count Andrenyi punches everybody in sight for no reason. Countess Andrenyi is reduced to a drug addict. Greta Ohlsson is renamed Pilar Estravados and her religious zeal is attributed to her failing to protect Daisy because she drank too much on the night Daisy was kidnapped. Cyrus Hardman, instead of posing as a salesman, poses as a racist professor.
    -In addition to mutilating the characters' personalities, the movie does a poor job of making the viewer care about the suspects. Instead, the racism of Hardman and MacQueen, the viciousness of Count Andrenyi, and Arbuthnot's attempt to murder Poirot all made me dislike these characters, rather than sympathize with them. It was extremely hard to believe that Poirot would let the killers go free after Arbuthnot tried to kill him!
    -Although Branagh did a fantastic job of portraying Poirot, sometimes the script had Poirot say and do things that were out of character. For example, having Poirot assert that he cannot lie was utterly absurd. How many times has Poirot lied in order to catch a criminal? That is something I could see Hastings saying, not Poirot (unless he said it ironically). Also, if they felt that they needed to stress Poirot's love life, couldn't they at least have kept the Countess Vera Rossakoff as Poirot's lover rather than some made up woman named Katherine?
    -After Ratchett's death, the movie began to rush through the investigation. As a result, many of the clues were either eliminated or rushed through. Many of the details that explain why the characters behave as they do or that help Poirot to solve the mystery are eliminated. 

    Overall, this version of Murder on the Orient Express was much better than the Suchet version. However, the movie really messed up in terms of character development. The movie seems to set up Death on the Nile as a potential sequel. While I would not object to Branagh reprising his role as Poirot, I would strongly object to the characters in Death on the Nile being re-written the way the characters in Murder on the Orient Express are re-written. In my opinion, Death on the Nile has one of Christie's greatest casts of characters and it would be an outrage if they were transformed to the point that they no longer resembled their counterparts in the novel.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wow!, I am glad I have decided to wait until the Film is premiered, I am not able to go to the Cinema but might have bought the DVD when it came out, I assume it is too near Christmas for it to be out before then, Thank goodness, If I am wrong I just hope a relative doesn't buy it for me, I am not even curious now, I agree Poirot would not put up with Racism, I really can't understand why the makers of Adaptations are so hell-bent on making Dramatic changes, It is an insult to the writer of whatever they are adapting in this case Agatha Christie, It is an insult to the fans of Agatha Christie and did any non-fans who go to see it a disservice and doesn't put the Directors amd Adaptors in a good light either, I agree with you I hope Brannagh doesn't choose to do Death On The Nile next, The Characters are brilliant and don't need tampering with nor does the excellent plot, after that Chronologically is Appointment With Death which refers to Murder On The Orient Express, I wonder how KB will meddle with that?
  • P_Lombard said:
    I would give the movie three out of five stars. It had many strengths, but also had some glaring weaknesses.

    -After Ratchett's death, the movie began to rush through the investigation. As a result, many of the clues were either eliminated or rushed through. Many of the details that explain why the characters behave as they do or that help Poirot to solve the mystery are eliminated. 

    I give it 2 out of 5 stars. Still prefer the book THEN the 1974 version which is still the best adaptation of the book, despite some of its flaws

    I felt the middle of the film was disjointed, spliced with ridiculous action-scenes and the interviews felt short and rushed. If only the beginning was cut, and middle scenes like the “Katherine” angle (which didn't go anywhere), Poirot’s inner struggle, and ridiculous action sequences (almost like a Robert Downey Jr. version of Sherlock Holmes) and more attention was placed on the interviews/interrogations themselves along with a longer film running time, I feel like the pay off clearly would have been more powerful. One complaint that I’ve heard was many viewers didn’t feel they were involved in the solving of the mystery; the clues weren’t all there and they felt cheated. You have to present all the clues and not rush through them or leave things unexplained and left out in the cold. To get to that big payoff, you have to keep the viewers involved and invested in the mystery. I found the ending powerful and it could be because I already know the conclusion (which I always found powerful) and on top of that the music in that scene moved me. With the middle crammed together with too many things, I can see how viewers lost interest and if they do, how can they feel the power of the ending? You lost them way before the mystery’s solution. More emphasis should have been on the clues and interviews themselves. That’s the key to a mystery. That’s the key to keep an audience interested whenever a mystery is adapted onscreen. And screenwriters and directors, you can still film interview/interrogation scenes in such a way for a 21st century audience that won’t bore or deter them if that’s something you’re worried about when filming a true whodunit. Because great visuals and cinematography just isn’t enough for a mystery.


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • AgathasmykidAgathasmykid British Columbia, Canada ✭✭✭
    Hi, its been awhile since I have been here but wanted to stay away until I saw the movie.  I was a bit skeptical, however overall I enjoyed it.

    -yes, there were some action scenes, however I am not going to fault the writers/director for this as we are in the day and age of action films.  Poirot on the roof of the train was a bit ridiculous lol, otherwise I thought the action scenes were tolerable and occasionally funny.

    -I have to agree that the middle seemed a bit disjointed and quick.  Where the 74 version excels is how thoroughly each suspect is investigated.  I forgot for example Willem Defoe was even in this movie until they decided to focus on him.

    -Kenneth Branagh as Poirot, well I felt he grew into the role. The Poirot in the last 20 minutes was better then Poirot in the first 20.

    -The strength of this movie is the last 20 minutes.  It is dark, sad, serious, and I felt they built the tension up quite well.  Michelle Pfeiffer was excellent. Much better than the ending of Suchet's version in my opinion.

    -I loved the little tease at the end and am happy it is actually leading to a sequel.

    3/5 stars for me.

    In terms of ranking the versions;

    -Finney
    -Branagh
    -Suchet
    -Molina
  • ChristieFanForLife ChristieFanForLife ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
    Did anyone get the impression that the new Murder On The Orient Express film should have felt more claustrophobic then it was? In the book everything took place on that train and I felt that was one aspect that made the book a memorable one. We have Cards On The Table in which a murder occurs in a room with only 4 suspects, but the difference between Orient Express and Cards On The Table is that previous all takes place in one location but not so with the latter. I read a review in which the reviewer said, "Still, a little more claustrophobia may have boosted the suspense. It doesn't always feel like we're on a tight train with a killer." That's what sets Orient Express from other train mysteries from Christie such as The Mystery of the Blue Train or a murder on a plane like Death In The Clouds. The murder, the suspects, the interviews/interrogations, the clues/red herrings, and the drawing room-like denouement all takes place in that train, not outside. So the scene where all the suspects gather at the table outside resembling Last Supper portrait is creative, it just doesn't have that affect that it would have on that train. And the action sequences took a huge chunk of that claustrophobic feel away, diminishing the suspense in my opinion. It was all wrong. 


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • glalonzo0408glalonzo0408 Pennsylvania, United States ✭✭✭
    Did anyone get the impression that the new Murder On The Orient Express film should have felt more claustrophobic then it was? In the book everything took place on that train and I felt that was one aspect that made the book a memorable one. We have Cards On The Table in which a murder occurs in a room with only 4 suspects, but the difference between Orient Express and Cards On The Table is that previous all takes place in one location but not so with the latter. I read a review in which the reviewer said, "Still, a little more claustrophobia may have boosted the suspense. It doesn't always feel like we're on a tight train with a killer." That's what sets Orient Express from other train mysteries from Christie such as The Mystery of the Blue Train or a murder on a plane like Death In The Clouds. The murder, the suspects, the interviews/interrogations, the clues/red herrings, and the drawing room-like denouement all takes place in that train, not outside. So the scene where all the suspects gather at the table outside resembling Last Supper portrait is creative, it just doesn't have that affect that it would have on that train. And the action sequences took a huge chunk of that claustrophobic feel away, diminishing the suspense in my opinion. It was all wrong. 
    I couldn't agree more.  I must say that I was extremely disappointed in this movie.  I did not find ANY of the characters believable.  This movie, in my opinion, took too many liberties.

    The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes.

    Agatha Christie

  • I couldn't agree more.  I must say that I was extremely disappointed in this movie.  I did not find ANY of the characters believable.  This movie, in my opinion, took too many liberties.
    Did you watch the 1974 film? That version is more faithful, though it has its flaws, but I'd rank it over Branagh's.


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • JS88JS88 Peterborough Investigator

    Ok, saw Ken's film last night. In the interests of full disclosure, I am a lover of the Finney version, I think it is excellent. I approached this new version with a mixture of excitement and fear. In general I am a fan of Ken's work, but here, well, not so much. I got the point of the opening, to introduce the character, but once this got going I knew this was quite definitely 'Based on' Agatha Christie 's book. I liked Depp as Casseti, and Pfifer was excellent and the actor playing Arbothnot was also very good, but apart from those three, no one else (except Ken) was given enough to do. I liked the way they changed Arbuthnot to a black character, it made the tension in his romance more believable for todays audience who I think would struggle to think a divorce was something to hedge around, but a mixed race marriage in the 1930's, yes. But Kenneth Brannagh, as Poirot, was awful. Not his acting, but his interpretation. I suppose he was making the character more dynamic and hero-like, but come on, chasing someone around some scaffolding? That is well below M. Poirots dignity. As for toting a pistol and using his cane as an all purpose jemy/ weapon. No. Then, the way the detection was conducted. People seemed to randomly confess important facts and the little gray cells didn't really get into gear. The end scene in the tunnel (what was that, maybe he watched too many Werner Hertzog films) it appears the solution dawns on him as he rants. I suppose the best thing to say about it is, it was at least better than the ITV attempt. But I wonder what he'll do in Death on the Nile? Have Poirot swim the Hellespont the tommy gun down some international crime lord. Perhaps he might make a better job of The Big Four.

    I think if he had simply changed the name of his detective (Scarot, or Charoit perhaps) I would have quite enjoyed it as I am aware it was the 'baggage' I brought to the film that spoiled my enjoyment and I am also aware that I have no monopoly on what Poirot should be. Thats why the books are always best. You cam bring your own interpretation without inflicting it on others.

  • P_LombardP_Lombard ✭✭✭
    I think you are absolutely right JS88. Kenneth Branagh might do an excellent job as Poirot in The Big Four. Like you, I am weary of his version of Death on the Nile and hope that it will be more faithful than Murder on the Orient Express was.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 19
    JS88 You say that younger audiences would struggle to see why Divorce is a subject to hedge around, Well all I can say is let them wonder, It is a Historical fact that Divorce was once a taboo subject and to ignore that fact is doing younger Generations a disservice, we can't and shouldn't just whitewash History because younger Generations will struggle tell then what harshness there was in previous Decades, tell then that somethings which they see as not a problem were very real problems once apon a time, don't pander to those who think that we should forget struggles, sit our young people down and Give them the Facts the full facts, to do anything else is patronizing them and doing them and the people who had to endure those struggles a disservice.
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