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The ensemble was not further developed because they are not supposed to be. As in all of Christie¡¯s novels, the limited cast of characters are all suspects in a murder investigation. The reader¡¯s/viewer¡¯s interest in the characters is supposed to be piqued by each suspect, and left wanting until the end. The performances here were restrained and limited, in the service of a murder mystery, not wasted.
Similarly, the complaint from critics that the end was flat betray certain expectations for a big-budget movie that are simply not to be met in a Hercule Poirot story. Every single story will always end with Poirot explaining to all the suspects who the killer was. This type of scene is easier to adapt to the stage than to film, but Branaugh succeeded in some powerful imagery and drama in this scene to make it have the full weight of a climactic ending. The gratification at the end of a Christie novel is that it all makes sense and though the reader (likely) did not figure it out, the little grey cells of a well-groomed, peculiar Belgian detective did. Without spoiling anything, Murder On the Orient Express is famous because Christie does something slightly different with the formula here. This was handled very well and had all the drama it needed. The plot-driven, dialogue-driven Poirot story plays well for British television audiences in the 80¡¯s and 90¡¯s, but I can see why it would seem unspectacular for $15 in 2017 America. I¡¯m glad we didn¡¯t have some absurdly out-of-place action scene at the end.
I loved the movie. But I¡¯m extremely biased. I¡¯m a huge fan of Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot, as well as Kenneth¡¯s Branaugh¡¯s acting and directing. But I¡¯m also a huge Transformers fan, and that can¡¯t make me like those movies¡ªin fact, it makes me all the more disappointed with them (Well, I would be disappointed with them if I kept watching them). If you¡¯ve read and appreciate Agatha Christie¡¯s Hercule Poirot novels, this movie is definitely for you. If you enjoy a good murder mystery, you will love this one. It is beautifully shot and well-written. The characterization of Poirot here is perfect. I think the Queen of Crime would¡¯ve been proud of this adaptation and I¡¯m hoping for a sequel or two or three. There are about 70 stories to choose from.
Kenneth Branagh directs and leads an all-star cast, including Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Pen¨¦lope Cruz, Judi Dench and Leslie Odom, Jr., in this stylish, suspenseful and thrilling mystery based on the best-selling novel by Agatha Christie.
Everyone¡¯s a suspect when a murder is committed on a lavish train ride, and a brilliant detective must race against time to solve the puzzle before the killer strikes again.
Actors: Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp
Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen, PAL
Region: Region 4 for Australia
Number of discs: 1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release in: 2018
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