Movie Review: Murder on the Orient Express, a Lavish Recreation


Murder on the Orient Express opens splendidly. Within the first few minutes of the movie, we’re afforded a luscious view of Jerusalem, where our hero and famed detective, Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh), effortlessly solves a sticky matter to do with theft. And he does so with what seems like a simple glance.

Of course, the amazement that follows suit is expected, and Hercule claims that his ability to solve cases so easily has to do with his need for perfection; his attention to detail allows him to pinpoint the root cause of “imperfection”.

Despite his fame and talent, Hercule wishes to rest. And thus, his journey aboard the Orient Express, which he was invited to ride by his friend and director of the train, Bouc, begins.

As far as praises go, there are many to go around for this film.

It is as elegant as it appears in the trailers. It is breathtakingly beautiful, with the gorgeous architecture, backdrops, artfully angled shots and finely tailored costumes making themselves perfectly at home in this setting; there is simply no denying any of these. It is also blessed with a star-studded cast that certainly knows how to deliver their lines with an appropriate toss of their hair or flick of their wrist.

But there is a slight snag to this. Murder of the Orient Express has all of the makings of an excellent, well-rounded film, but perhaps due to a classic case of having a large cast and limited time, the actors and actresses were unable to showcase their full potential.

For instance, Murder on the Orient Express has been graced with the likes of Johnny Depp, Judi Dench and Penelope Cruz, yet the appearances their characters make in the film can be likened to cameos.

It is all too common for certain characters to fall through the cracks when running on limited time, especially when the plot follows the olde whodunnit formula- where the main character takes the time to investigate each and every suspect. This is essentially what the film is in a nutshell: a story that solely focuses on the detective and his attempt in identifying the murderer. 

At least that is what I took away from the film. It is not by any means a terrible production, because it does give your brain a bit of an exercise by making you puzzle over the identity of the killer, but it does leave one wanting. It has all the right ingredients for an excellent movie, but there is a need to create more emotional attachment and depth to the supporting characters. 

That is just one person’s opinion, however. What do you think of the movie? Do you like it or do you not? Leave your thoughts in the Comment section below!

Murder on the Orient Express is now showing in cinemas


Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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