‘Murder On The Orient Express’
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp
2 (Out Of 5) Globes
Plot: Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh), the world’s most famous detective, who is not shy about telling people so, has just cracked a case in Istanbul and is trying to make his way back on the world famous Orient Express to London for a well-earned rest. But during his trip one of his fellow passengers is murdered. Everyone on-board is a suspect, so when the train is partially derailed by an avalanche Poirot takes it upon himself to try and find the culprit.
Review: Kenneth Branagh’s joy that he has been allowed to make a big-budgeted version of “Murder On The Orient Express” is palpable throughout his adaptation of Agatha Christie’s seminal novel. Not only in his performance, which is the right side of campy to be enjoyable, but also in his garish direction. There are long dolly shots, a bevy of unique angles to highlight the tight conditions of the titular train, while you can really feel the millions spent up on screen, which adds a pristine glaze to the locations and period and makes it utterly gorgeous to look at.
The fact that “Murder On The Orient Express” is so pretty to behold, and that Branagh’s enthusiasm for playing such an iconic literary character has spread to his ensemble, comes in handy, as it adds buoyancy to a script that fails to ignite. While you’re intrigued and at times a little perplexed by the plot you’re never hooked. There’s a desire to find out the culprit, just so it is not a complete waste of time, but as the story unfolds there are various occasions when you can’t help but guffaw at how outlandish it becomes. While the final reveal only inspires a shrug of the shoulders rather than a breathless recoil. That being said, Branagh’s magnificent moustache deserves a spin-off all of its own, though.