Trailer Review: Death on the Nile
Like in 1978, one of Agatha Christie's most eventful book gets a star studded update.
I did not dislike Murder on the Orient Express, but it left me cold (like the characters in the end.) It lacked suspense and the emotional heft of the book or even the 2010 episode in ITV's long-running Hercule Poirot series starring David Suchet.
The only reason I even checked out the trailer of this film is because of Agatha Christie. She was the first author that I started to read as a kid and have followed her doggedly since then. I have seen all adaptation that I have been able to get my hands on and the ITV series I mentioned above is one of my favorites.
But now that I am here, let's do this, shall we?
So, the first thing that strikes about this film is its setting.
This was supposed to be Egypt, no? There are hardly any shots of the desert or even sand anywhere, leave alone the natives.
Having said that, the trailer is off to a rather sensuous start with couples swooning, dancing and jealous lovers playing with knives on the table. We get shots of the main stars Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer looking wistfully at each other and making everyone else jealous.
What could be the strong point of the trailer is that it does not bother to reveal anything about the plot. Poirot's voice over seems to be from the final reveal where he promises to "deliver the killer" and how this case has "altered his very soul". Tall claim, that.
One-setting murder mysteries can be potentially great (this one is on a cruise) and the book has many twists and turns. The cast here is superb. Along with the two main stars we have Annette Bening, Sophie Okonedo, French and Saunders (yes!) and an unrecognizable Russell Brand. There is Ali Fazal too who seems to be doing well in Hollywood.
That brings us to Hercule Poirot himself. I still hate that mustache and the less said about that bizarre beard, the better. Physically, there is hardly any distinctive feature in this Poirot except for the awful hairy ones I mentioned above.
Despite these failings the trailer is interesting and one doesn't look away. It also has to be said that even today trailers need old rock bands like Depeche Mode to keep them floating.
Branagh's directorial career is rather spotty. His work since 2011's Thor has been of a competent workman rather than an artist and I wouldn't wish his latest film Artemis Fowl on my enemies.
No particular visual stands out, yet, the plot could emerge the real hero here and I remember the book to be a very satisfying read.
Will Death on the Nile be a thrill ride or a deadly bore? Please, register and tell us your opinion in the comments section.
VERDICT: I'm in! (with reservations)
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