Murder on the Orient Express

murder on the orient express

For all the reasons I thought Murder on the Orient Express was great you might hate it or at least feel lukewarm about it. This is a tour de force for the star, Producer and Director, Kenneth Branagh. Stellar. But if you hate Kenneth Branagh, or feel lukewarm about him, I would suggest you steer clear. As D pointed out, the other star of the film (he would say the main star) is the train itself.  The Orient Express is brought to life with incredible CGI vistas of Istanbul and the Alps. The cinematography by Haris Zambarloukos leaves nothing to be desired and is as complex as the intricate place settings in the dining car. Ultimately, Branagh and Producer Ridley Scott understand cinematic storytelling and use the adventurous scope of this widescreen epic to their advantage.

The film does not lack in zingers or in unearthing human truths, foibles and frailties. Humanity has a lot to be ashamed of and these traits are most visible when stories of people living in extreme situations are depicted. It’s safe to say that it doesn’t get more bougie than the first class car of the Orient Express in the 1930s.

Strong performances are turned in by Johnny Deep, Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley of Star Wars: The Force Awakens fame. The acting here by the entire cast feels alive and organic.

There might well be another reason you might not like this film. Perhaps you feel that the previous versions, for example cinematic genius Director Sidney Lumet’s 1974 version, which was nominated for 6 Oscars, including a win for Best Supporting Actress for Ingrid Bergman, was good enough for you. And that’s valid too. That said, if you’d like to see these particular performers do their thing within the realm of the greatest production value our current cinema has to offer, then I would say go for it, you will enjoy the ride.

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