Showing posts with label Poirot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poirot. Show all posts

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Reviewing Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders Mini-Series

Agatha Christie Mini Series - The ABC Murders
Yes, that's a grown up Ron Weasley
playing a Scotland Yard dectectiv
e
I have to put my hand up and say I'm an Agatha Christie fan from decades back and one of the books that I liked was the ABC Murders, I loved the twist in this novel.

Adapting a book to a mini-series always presents challenges in keeping true to the author for their fans while also ensuring it works well for today's audiences.   I feel that when they adapted And Then There Were None they really captured that well.   In this case I feel conflicted.

As I said I enjoyed this book immensely, but having finished the three part mini-series I'm not sure if I liked it or not!   I was intrigued with the casting of John Malkovich in the role of Hercule Poirot and I think he makes a surprisingly refreshing change to David Suchet or Peter Ustinov.

The problem for me was that key elements of the story was changed, one of the key players wasn't in the mini-series and two of the other players had totally different roles, in fact I was very surprised by a certain death that occurred.

While watching it the thing that I really didn't find added anything to the mini-series was flashbacks that Poirot was having to his time before arriving in the UK and at the end you see what role he supposedly had before leaving Belgium which is completely at odds with the character Dame Christie created.

If I wasn't as familiar with Hercule Poirot I might not have minded the liberties taken and it may have added something, but I'm not sure.   It has left me feeling very conflicted about whether or not to recommend this series.

When it comes to one of the main characters lodgings in London, the series certainly makes them a lot seedier than my imagination created in my mind as I read the book.

I was grateful that they didn't change who the killer was because at one point I thought they were going to make it a different person which would've been insane (in my opinion).   I did like the reveal after the murderer was revealed.   Instead of the almost iconic Poirot gathering of the characters for his big reveal they went with the power of television to give flashbacks of key scenes.

Do I recommend this series?   I really am conflicted so I will just say if you are an Agatha Christie purist absolutely not.   If you haven't read the book then I think you might enjoy this.   I would be intrigued to know your thoughts if you do decide to check this miniseries out.

If you've not heard of the ABC Murders before then it basically starts with Hercule Poirot getting letters from someone who signs himself ABC ..... and then the murders begin. 

The first is Alice Asher in Andover, the second is Betty Barnard in Bexhill, you get the idea.   Next to each murder victim a copy of London's ABC (the famous railway guide) is left opened at the appropriate letter.   Each destination is one that has a connection with Poirot and the letters are addressed to him almost taunting him to participate in the murderer's 'game'.

The story is set in 1930s London and the backdrop shows the rising fascist movement and anti-immigrants movement which adds to the bleakness that accompanies Poirot's traumatic flashbacks.


The ABC Murders on Amazon Prime
Click here to get the ABC Murders on Prime Video

 
Now I watched this on the ABC channel in Australia (which I thought was kind of ironic!), but I could've watched it on Amazon Prime.   I do love Amazon Prime and have enjoyed watching shows such as Jack Ryan and Good Omens on there.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, December 8, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Movie Review
Even though I have seen several previous versions of "Murder on the Orient Express" and was very familiar with the plot, I loved this new adaptation and can highly recommend it!  

I am a huge Hercule Poirot fan!  In my heart, David Suchet will always be Poirot.   His image is the one my mind's eye will see when I hear or think of the fabulous Agatha Christie detective.  However, since I am reviewing the newly released "Murder on the Orient Express" movie, I need to start by critiquing the actor that played the part of Hercule. 

I was quite impressed with Kenneth Branagh who was cast as Hercule Poirot.  He also co-produced this latest version of "Murder on the Orient Express" which most likely gave him more freedom to develop the character to suit his own style and personality.  He is not an actor I was previously acquainted with, so there was no other character I had to toss to the back of my mind to enjoy his performance. 

When the movie first started, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to embrace Branagh as Poirot, even for a few hours.  But, after the first 20 minutes, I was fine with him playing the part.   By the end of the movie, I was singing his praises for taking on a role that was "owned" by another actor and doing a supreme job of becoming Poirot.  I certainly wouldn't mind seeing him continue as Poirot in future movies.


The Plot of "Murder on the Orient Express"


 Murder On The Orient ExpressCheck PriceI was recently reminded that not everyone is familiar with the plot or knows the story of "Murder on the Orient Express".  Frankly, I was rather shocked to learn that one of my family members that attended the movie with me had neither seen the movie, nor read the book.  Therefore, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, I will provide a brief synopsis.

The Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, is precise in his every deed and action.  He would even be considered fastidious.  This is an endearing quality to those of us who believe everything should be "just so".  He is highly intelligent and uses his "little grey cells" to examine every minute detail of a case.  As Poirot himself would tell you, he is "probably the greatest detective in the world".  

At the insistence of an old friend, Poirot boards the Orient Express train seeking a bit of a holiday.  What he actually got was a case of murder.  When an avalanche of snow stopped the train dead in it's tracks, one of his fellow passengers was found dead in his bed.  He had been murdered and Hercule Poirot was certain the murderer was also a fellow passenger.  He immediately started investigating the case, forcing those world famous "little grey cells" to work quickly lest another passenger should fall victim to the murderer.

He quickly deduces that the murder is somehow related to the previous murder of a child.  The abduction and subsequent murder of the child will remind you of a real case in history, the Lindbergh baby.  In fact, Agatha Christie's novel, "Murder on the Orient Express" was based on that real life murder.

Every passenger on the train is considered a suspect!
I'm not going to tell more of the plot simply because I don't wish to spoil the movie for anyone who is not already familiar with the plot.  What I will tell you, is that Poirot's own sense of justice is challenged by what he uncovers in this case.


The Actors Make the Movie


While there are a few deviations in this movie from the original novel, overall the characters were familiar enough that I don't believe it was neither a hindrance nor an improvement to the plot.  What did really matter is the cast of stars who played the parts.  These faces have long entertained us and they were all excellent choices for their respective parts.


  • Michelle Pfeiffer - the widow
  • Johnny Depp - the gangster
  • Willem Dafoe - the professor
  • Penelope Cruz - the missionary
  • Judi Dench - the princess

In addition to the award winning actors and actresses, you will recognize several other faces even if you don't know their names, yet!




The Scenery in Murder on the Orient Express (2017)


The scenery is stunningly gorgeous!   In addition to an unbelievably outstanding studio set of Longcross Studios in London, some of the landscape shots were made at the border between Switzerland and Italy.  The fantastic, out of this world mountains were filmed in New Zealand. 
 



Check Out More Movie Reviews at
ReviewThisMovies.com



Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:


The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010Renaissance
Woman2010
Lou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret Schindel Sam MonacoSam Monaco BuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecorating
forEvents
Heather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 

Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

“As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement

X