“Murder on the Orient Express” is a classic whodunit tale that will keep audiences guessing the identity of the murderer until the end of the film. Based on the best selling novel by Agatha Christie, director and star Kenneth Branagh translates the main plot and twists from page to screen while adding more blockbuster action sequences.
The story is brought to life with a cast comprised of well-known actors, including Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley. With over ten famous people sharing the screen, there is a bid for attention. The cast did well to balance each character and everyone had their moment to shine.
The film follows detective Hercule Poirot as he attempts to solve a murder while trapped on a derailed train due to an avalanche. With the passengers as the suspects, Poirot must uncover the real murderer before the officials arrive and condemn the wrong man.
With high stakes, the drama that should unfold would have the audience on the edge of the seat from start to finish. However, the film felt rushed, with character backstory and clues often glossed over. Only in the last ten minutes of the film did the tension match the situation.
While the tension wasn’t extravagant, the set and costuming certainly were. The beautiful costumes transported the audience back to the 1930s and the set was equally effective. Both elements were complimented by Branagh’s unique cinematography as he chose unconventional angles and shots to convey the story.
With several other film adaptations and a television show that already brought this story to the screen, Branagh falls short of cementing his adaptation as the one to beat. While those who are familiar with the story and its previous adaptations may feel that the film didn’t meet the hype, it still presents an intriguing puzzle and is a wonderful introduction to Poirot for audiences who have never hear of the Belgian detective.