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Murder on the Orient Express

Post 1

Gnomon - time to move on

I went to see the new Murder on the Orient Express film last night.

I enjoyed it even though I knew in advance who dunnit. (I'd read the book many years ago).

I'm not good at recognising people, but even I knew most of the actors in this - Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeifer, Derek Jacobi, Penelope Cruz, Daisy Ridley, and of course Kenneth Branagh who not only directed but played the lead role as Belgian detective Hercules Poirot.

Branagh was perfect in the part - his carefully delivered lines matched Poirot's meticulous mannerisms.

Most of the action takes place in one carriage on the Orient Express train. To accentuate this, the scenery around the train was very unreal-looking with massive painted backdrops, both of Istanbul as the train was leaving the city and of anonymous snow-covered mountains somewhere in Yugoslavia.

The more I see of Johnny Depp, the more I feel that he's not acting - that spaced-out portrayal is himself. The other actors did good jobs, some better than others.

All-in-all, it was an enjoyable evening, and daughter El, who didn't know who the murderer was, enjoyed it even more.


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 2

Icy North

I'll look out for that one - thanks smiley - smiley

Did Agatha Christie invent the Whodunnit?


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 3

Gnomon - time to move on

Aparently Wilkie Collins's "The Moonstone" from 1868 was the first modern example of this type of crime story. That's a good long time before Agatha Christie.


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 4

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

I saw the movie. Good acting all around. I wasn't that fond of Branagh's Poirot. I hadn't read the book or seen the earlier movie, though. I saw Peter Ustinov as Poirot in "The Mirror Cracked," and liked him in that.


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 5

Teasswill

Glad to read your review.
I'm not sure I want to bother going to the cinema to see it, but I'm sure we will watch it at some point. We enjoyed the Albert Finney version.


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 6

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

I wonder if there are any stories about murder on the disoriented express?


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 7

ITIWBS

http://youtu.be/32KV7h95iAE

https://youtu.be/32KV7h95iAE

An early Agatha Christie film, "Whodunit", 1938, featuring Basil Rathbone.


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 8

Gnomon - time to move on

I've heard a criticism that while the character of Poirot was shown in infinite detail, the film rather glossed over the characters of the twelve suspects. This is certainly true, but it would be hard to get to know that many people in the time available.


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 9

Gnomon - time to move on

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirkeci_railway_station#/media/File:Bahnhofsfront-Istanbul-Sirkeci_retouched.jpg

This is the railway station in Istanbul that the Orient Express ran to.


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 10

Icy North

{I've heard a criticism that while the character of Poirot was shown in infinite detail, the film rather glossed over the characters of the twelve suspects.}

I'd argue that characterisation was never Agatha Christie's strong point. Indeed, leaving you guessing as to people's motives probably makes for a more exciting whodunnit.


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 11

Teasswill

We've watched some of the ITV Poirot several times before remembering who really was the culprit. They usually give you a few red herrings - wouldn't do to solve it in the first five minutes!


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 12

Icy North

That's true. I guessed the murderer in The Mousetrap a few minutes in, and it really spoiled it!


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 13

Gnomon - time to move on

My father loved watching TV detective programs in the 1970s (which I think was probably their golden age). He was so tuned in to the format that he could spot the criminal within a few seconds of their first appearance on the screen.


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 14

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

smiley - doh


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 15

You can call me TC

We saw the film, albeit dubbed in German. I am always put off by CGI effects, and found the backgrounds often disjointed from the scenes, particularly when they were ostensibly standing in front of the snow, and so obviously weren't.

I am useless at remembering whodunnit, let alone wotitwastheydun, but I found this story a bit of a copout.

However, the dubbing was good - especially for Willem Defoe's character, who of course spoke in a proper Viennese accent. No idea how they did it in the original script, but he also gave himself away by saying "Sahne" instead of "Obers" which was a brilliant piece of translation.

I have just had a look at the names of the actors who did the German soundtrack. The chappie who did Willem Defoe's character was an East German. So double smiley - applause to him for mastering the Viennese accent.


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 16

Gnomon - time to move on

He gave himself away by putting the stress on the wrong syllable of Turin: saying "TUR-in" instead of "Tu-RIN".


Murder on the Orient Express

Post 17

Recumbentman

I've only read one whodunit, Nabokov's King, Queen, Knave. There is no murder and no mystery but it is a marvellous evocation of 1920s Berlin. The author (along with his wife and butterfly net) makes a cameo appearance. Highly recommended.


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