Europe 1930s, train stuck in snow, a murder, 13 suspects, one detective, an investigation
Desimartini | Updated - November 30, 2017 17:19 PM IST
Verdict - Fairly OK but slow movie for a one time watch
This film is based on a famous novel by Agatha Christie. An earlier movie was made in 1974 which many consider superior to this film. Also a TV series was made in year 2000.
The famous detective Hercule Poirot happens to be on board the Orient express when a murder is committed. The victim is Johnny Depp. The train is also stuck in snow on the tracks due to an avalanche and is waiting for relief team which will clear the tracks. Poirot begins his investigation and after questioning passengers narrows down to 13 of them. The film then focuses on Poirot's investigation during the period they are stranded there.
Essentially a murder mystery, director Kenneth Branagh has an ensemble of actors like Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfiffer, Judi Dench and Willem Dafoe who play the suspects while he himself plays the role of detective Poirot. Kenneth with a weird moustache does most of the talking while all other actors are required to look guilty and worried. All actors are on glorified cameos and except Michelle no one has a character worth discussing. None of the actors have been used to their full potential.
The film has a painfully slow narrative and lacks the pace required of a whodunit. Poirot has a huge amount of dialogue to be delivered which makes the proceedings dull and sluggish while one will expect a murder mystery to be engrossing.
What really saves the film is the superb cinematography. The snow clad surroundings at the site have been captured splendidly. The director has used the mobile camera with breathtaking results. Long tracking shots along the length of the train and a couple of crane shots will please lovers of cinematography. There are a number of attractively photographed scenes.