Ashdoc's movie review---Murder on the orient express


Senior Member
Jul 21, 2010
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This was the first time I saw any version of this famous murder mystery on celluloid . Though of course , the solution to the mystery was known to me without having read the novel because the novel is so famous.

Detective Hercule Poirot is called to London from Istanbul for solving a case and he has to board the Orient express to get there quickly . Little does he know that the orient express it self would be the scene of a murder....
Of course , the forebodings of such a happening are already there . For a sinister criminal ( played by Johnny Depp ) asks Poirot to protect him from people who are after him , but realising his criminal propensities Hercule refuses .

Meanwhile the train has begun on it's journey , and it is as lavish as could be during that day and age . Luxurious cabins and a restaurant with the finest collection of liquor and sumptuous food are it's hallmark . The landscape it moves through is mountains full of snow , and the photography of that is at it's best . The train is not large and has an engine and four five bogies .

We are soon introduced to the assembled cast and their differing personalities . They include a princess ( played by Judi Dench ) , a black doctor ( played by Leslie Odom ) , a highly religious person ( Penelope Cruz ) , a character played by Michelle Pfeiffer among others . Hercule Poirot himself is played by Kenneth Branagh .

Here Hercule Poirot himself is shown to have a past love , a woman whose framed photo he carries and remembers ; he is not a detective with a mechanical brain but a person with emotion .

As the train ploughs into the balkans in the country of Yugoslavia , we are witness to thunder and lightening in the sky . And that starts a avalanche of snow that come collapsing from the mountains and derails the train's engine . The train stops above a bridge in the spectacular snowbound countryside until rescue teams will arrive to put it back on track . Of course , the sumptuous food is still warm and ready to be served .

But we are served murder instead . And the murder is of none other than that of the character played by Johnny Depp . A man who knew himself to be marked because of the evil deeds he had done and carried a gun with him all times ; not that the gun could save him....

As Poirot investigates , he finds that the murdered man was having an assumed name and the real person was connected to some real bad deeds in the past . And he soon finds out that every person on the train had been somehow affected by the crimes that the murdered man had done . So who among them was the killer ? The answer to the mystery has made the novel a classic .

The background music is good and acting is appropriate for the situations . In the end is the dilemma for Poirot---whether the murderer should be punished or the murdered person deserved what he got ? I haven't seen the earlier versions of the movie and therefore cannot compare with them but was satisfied by what I saw on screen .

Verdict---Good .

Three stars out of five .

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