Murder on the Orient Express

This week I got to see “Murder on the Orient Express” the new film version of Agatha Christie’s Book written 1934. As I enjoy crime stories very much and had often heard of the greatness of this book I was very eager to see the movie. Another fact might have been that I was curious to see Sergei Polounin (the “Bad Boy of Ballet”) in this movie, usually, he is a ballet dancer and got famous with his as well scandalous as striking career. Could he as well convince as an actor instead of a dancer? Let’s see…

The plot is easy to set. We have a world-famous detective with a tendency to an unusual behavior called Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) who is tired of murderers and cages. He wants nothing else than to go home and have some vacation. But as destiny plays he won’t get rest, during his travel in the Orient Express, a train from Istanbul to London, a man is killed and it’s time to find the culprit. The first class is fully booked and one of them must be the murderer. There won’t be any time for a vacation before he will be caught.

The ranks are full of well-known actors., from Penélope Cruz to Johnny Depp or Michelle Pfeiffer, many familiar faces can be seen. They complete one another very well, so you get a nice feeling of the setting and you can almost feel like your in the train with them but what is missing is the tension of a crime story. I like the individual characters but they don’t really support the story, the spectators learn much about their dramatic structures and relations instead of causing high adrenaline and mystery. Polounin of whom I was so curious of plays almost himself, he embodies Graf Rudolph Andrenyi, a nobleman and impulsive dancer who travels with his wife. Although this was no big surprise it was kind of funny to see him in this role as you could gather all the parallels to his real life. The story takes place against the background of a beautiful, snowy mountain scenery outside and an atmospheric, nostalgic interior inside the train. It’s nice to watch and definitely not a bad movie but not what I was looking for, just not thrilling enough.

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Script: Michael Geen

Cast:

Kenneth Branagh – Hercule Poirot

Penélope Cruz – Pilar Estravados

Willem Dafoe – Mr. Hardman

Judi Dench – Princess Natalia Dragomiroff

Johnny Depp – Edward Ratchett

Josh Gad – Hector MacQueen

Derek Jacobi – Edward Masterman

Leslie Odom Jr. – Dr. Arbuthnot

Michelle Pfeiffer – Caroline Hubbard

Daisy Ridley – Mary Debenham

Lucy Boynton – Countess Elena Andrenyi

Sergei Polounin – Earl Rudolph Andrenyi

Olivia Colman – Hildegarde Schmidt

 

Picture by Dominik Scythe

Text by Verena

 

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