Peaches Prattlings

{November 14, 2017}   Murder on the Orient Express


Was that enough? No, not nearly! Dad and I went to see Murder on the Orient Express on Saturday afternoon. It had everything we like in a movie, mystery, intrigue, murder, comedy, suspense and a great story line.

Both of us happen to love Agatha Christie stories and this is one of her better ones. We both remember watching the 1974 version with Lauren Bacall and Albert Finney in the role of Hercule Poirot. I remember seeing it, but I didn’t remember the outcome, this brought it all back.

The story line is simple, so to speak. It’s about a murder on a train, everyone is a suspect and the famed detective, Hercule Poirot is tasked with tracking down and identifying the killer. Everyone is a suspect, but of course! And everyone has a secret to hide, but the celebrated detective has his ways and leaves no stone un-turned and will root out what they are hiding and turn the culprit in.

Now, let’s talk about the cast! Oh boy, talk about star studded! We start with Hercule Poirot, played by Kenneth Branagh, who also directed and cleverly and with style and panache. He was great with character development and background and intrigue. He really brought you into the story, emotions ran high, low, sideways. Dad and I agreed, he wasn’t our favorite Poirot, but he was a formidable character. Traditionally, Poirot is short and round, neither of which is our star, but he had the moustache, quirks and amazing use of those grey cells that he is famous for.

Johnny Depp is the creepy mobster, you instantly don’t like him, but you’re not sure why, you know nothing about him right away, but you don’t like the look of him. Josh Gad is his week assistant, comes off with bravado, but you know he’s all show.

Daisy Ridley, played Mary the governess, who you might know better as Rey from the new Star Wars series, was a fiery red-head with the smarts and a temper to match. Leslie Odom Jr was the doctor on his way home, confident, always offering a helping hand and inserted a bit of tension in the air for some of the other characters as the only person of color on the train.

Penelope Cruz was the pious bible thumper with a past, Derek Jacobi is Johnny Depp’s man servant, I was about to say just as he should be for that time, but he wasn’t. He was a servant, but he stood up to and talked back to his employer on occasion, he had his reasons.

There is a countess, ill and tired all the time and her hot headed husband, ready to knock anyone’s block off just for looking at his wife the wrong way. Dame Judy Dench plays a princess and every bit the obnoxious snob we hope royalty is not like and her lady in waiting, Olivia Colman, falling over herself to do what her royal demands.

The cast is rounded out by Michele Pfeiffer, who played the older American flirt who chatters on, giving off the air that she is looking for husband or lover number…I think she may have lost count and Willem Dafoe is the German professor with an attitude.

No one is exactly who you are led to believe, as with all good mysteries and it does leave you wondering at every turn…what’s going to happen next? Was it her? Was it him? Was it them? What are they hiding? No, that couldn’t be it, really?

And then the big finish, the climax when all is revealed and for this story, what a true surprise ending should be. A surprise!

I don’t know if you’re a fan of Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot, mysteries, period pieces, a good story line, but this has all of that and so much more. The costumes, the sets, the locations, the lighting, the music the moods. The steam train itself inspired me, it’s something I have always wanted to try, the rail across the country, in an old sleeper car, how magnificent would that be!?

Dad and I both loved it and I would say we both give it two thumbs up and recommend it to anyone. Enjoy!


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