This is going to be a mix of a movie and book review, so bear with me!
Murder on the Orient Express is one of those Agatha Christie books everyone knows, I think. For me, when I read her books years ago, it was a must-read, if not THE one to read.
I must admit back then, it took me some time to appreciate Poirot, but I got there in the end.
So, I was a wee bit excited when I saw that Kenneth Branagh (!!) was directing and acting in a movie version, with the most incredible cast.
So off I went to see it, but somehow I came out feeling deflated.
The movie has a huge cast of characters – d’uh, I know – but I didn’t feel like everyone got as much as time as I would have liked. For instance, Penelope Cruz barely had anything to say, and mostly sat around looking sad and broken. And I honestly can’t remember Judy Dench saying anything in it, besides yelling at her maid, maybe?
Michelle Pfeiffer though was amazing. AMAZING. And I am ready for more of her in many, many movies.
I came out of there longing for the book and opted for a dramatization of it on audiobook.
Much like the movie, it was rewritten as a radio dramatization, but I still felt like the characters were richer for it. Especially Mrs Hubbard AKA Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in the movie. She’s a rich character, so filled with loss and who, more than anyone, is playing a part in the story.
Much like the movie, the book surprised me with her change from one type of character to another. When I saw the movie, I’d actually forgotten the part Hubbard plays in the book until about half-way through the movie and when it happened, and it was still a woah-moment for me.
I’m still struggling to properly say why I didn’t enjoy the movie – saying there wasn’t enough time devoted to a large cast of characters is ridiculous because it’s a large cast of characters, and you can only do so much with each. Perhaps, if it had been more evenly balanced? Focused on the mystery?
Maybe by the time the next movie comes out, I’d have figured it out.
Have you watched? What did you think?