For some reason, despite the expansive cast, I just couldn’t get myself excited about this movie. I wasn’t sure what it was that held me back. When the reviews started coming in, they were rather mixed, which didn’t make me feel much better. I started to get really anxious about it because the movie night I organized with my coworkers had voted to see this, and I didn’t wanna subject people to a subpar movie. I needn’t have worried.
Okay so there’s a train, and there’s a murder, and there’s Kenneth Branagh’s mustache. For such a seemingly simple setup, they played with their boundaries rather well, I felt. I realized that what a lot of modern murder mysteries miss is that they’re so focused on the who, that they miss the why, which is the more fascinating part of the story. It felt like the who was more of the meta puzzle, and all the pieces for the smaller ones were where the magic was.
The other bit of movie magic I liked was how a lot of the staging and camera work played with the small space. It never felt claustrophobic. Instead, we got a lot of really creative shots, showing the same train car from many different perspectives. Add in the production design and we got a rather stylish film.
The suspect list was a little bit of star overload, I think. Each of their parts ended up being rather small because there were so many of them to get thru. However, Branagh was such a standout. I love love loved his character Hercule Poirot, and I do hope he gets a sequel (seeing as how his literary counterpart is part of a series). Despite the occasional slow pace of the film, Branagh’s wit and presence were always enough to carry me through.
As far as that movie night, the film was a win. I don’t know that it will always fare that well tho.
Murder on the Orient Express – \m/ \m/ \m/