Film Review: Murder on the Orient Express

FilmReviewMurderontheOrientExpress

I love a good whodunnit movie. With this all-star cast adaptation of a well-loved murder mystery classic, I had great expectations — and wasn’t disappointed

Contains spoilers.

Kenneth Branagh plays the great but eccentric detective Poirot. Honestly, though, I didn’t recognise him. The accent was mind-blowing and that moustache absolutely ridiculous. But excellent work. Bravo. (I mean, this guy was Gilderoy bloody Lockhart…)

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At the beginning you can’t tell who has links with whom nor any of their motivations, when every character appear to be coincidentally on the same train, but as the story unravels, the lies also unravel and their backstories come tumbling. I love to try and suss the story alongside the detective, but I appreciate the veil of mystery has to be maintained to keep the suspense going. Having said that, a few of Poirot’s logical jumps are a bit unpredictable, such as somehow pulling Helena out as Sonia’s never-before-mentioned sister and Penelope Cruz being the never-mentioned nanny. That honestly felt like convenience for convenience’s sake. Although the story was enchanting from start to finish, my sole criticism is there aren’t any small clues littered around the story as it unravels. As the audience, I couldn’t access the eureka moment as small details are pulled out almost at convenience — I felt almost cheated.

And I have to question the medical plausibility of thyroid cancer spreading to the stomach.

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The all-star cast was amazing, but, in particular, Michelle Pfeiffer/Arden’s acting was phenomenal. Swinging from the confident seductress to the desperate but brilliant grandmother hellbent on revenge to the heartbroken matriarch after her plan is revealed. I was both furious and heartbroken for her regarding what Depp’s character did to her granddaughter and I, too, found myself in ethical turmoil over who should take the blame for the murder.

The intricate links in the story was brilliant. I only wish I could guess along with Poirot rather than just be pulled along by blind faith in his logic.

Verdict: enjoyable. Would watch again.

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