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Film Review: Murder on the Orient Express

| Agatha Christie’s latest blockbuster move, Murder on the Orient Express has positives that outweigh any negatives.


Last week I went to see Murder on the Orient Express at the newly relaunched Odeon Luxe cinema at Edinburgh West, which streamed at the exact same time as the world premiere in London.

After all the buzz of this press launch, it was finally time to get stuck in to the new Agatha Christie blockbuster, so I thought I’d give a few thoughts on the film whilst its still newly out in theatres. Don’t worry, there’s no spoilers!


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Firstly, it must be said the the cast was an absolute knockout. From Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer to Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz and Willem Defoe, every introduction of a new character brought me total joy as yet another brilliant actor graced the screen. The script, and the acting, was fine tuned and, in my opinion, perfect for the 1934 murder mystery plot.

The standout character was, predictably, Hercule Poirot, played effortlessly by Kenneth Branagh, who also directed the film. The moustache says it all, really:

kenneth-branagh-murder-on-the-orient-express-hercule-poirot

For me though, the best part of the film was the FASHION! The costumes, as well as the settings and the rest of the mise-en-scene, were unbelievably stylish. The 20’s outfits were indulgent and over the top, but brilliant, from Judi Dench’s lavish fur coat and jewelled necklaces, to Michelle Pfeiffer’s colourful shawls and draped gowns, the dapper suiting on all the men, and the fascinating train condustor uniforms.

The only negatives I would point out were the slightly drawn-out length of the movie (I actually nearly drifted off towards the end, but then again that was probably due to the reclining leather seats at the new Odeon Edinburgh West). So far, Murder on the Orient Express has received many negative reviews, like Peter Bradshaw’s piece for The Guardian:

"The word “sheer” is missing from the beginning of the title. Like a dusty and long-locked display room in Madame Tussauds, this movie showcases an all-star cast in period costume, each of whom must suppress his or her star quality in the cause of being part of an all-star cast."

However, I think it was fantastic, and would thoroughly recommend the film to anyone that likes a good old fashioned game of cleudo with a Hollywood twist.

Watch the trailer below:

Video by 20th Century Fox

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