Film: Death on the Nile (2022)

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With the weather looking like we might soon need an Ark, David, Valerie, Ann and I fired up the Meerkat App and headed for a half-price visit to the local Odeon. Yes, I know, we’re living the dream! πŸ˜‰

Screen 1 awaits…

The movie in mind was Death on the Nile, the highly anticipated follow-up to Kenneth Branagh’s first outing (back in November 2017) Murder on the Orient Express. As then, he’s playing the mega-moustached detective, Hercule Poirot – and again taking on directing duties too!

Filming took place at Longcross Studios in England and on location in Morocco. The movie was released on February 9th in some international markets, but we Brits (and the USA) had to wait until the 11th. At (just) 127 minutes, it was quite short by today’s blockbuster standards – Happy bladder alert! 😯

On a technical note, for those of you who saw Murder on the Orient Express back in 2017, you’ll probably recall visually, how bright, and pin-sharp the movie was. My imagination? Nope! I learned afterwards that it was shot in 70mm. I’m pleased to report that this latest production follows that same technical tradition (using a 68mm negative producing a 70mm print – ooo techy!!!). Not every movie is shot this way, although in all honesty (and maybe it was just the Odeon screen) Death on the Nile didn’t create such a visual punch. ☹️

The Cast

Joining Kenneth Branagh on the Nile, we had Adam Garcia, Sophie Okonedo, Armie Hammer, Gal Gadot, Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Russell Brand (totally unrecognisable!) Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French giving it a good pedigree! (The full cast list is HERE).

The Plot

So, was it any good? Well, although the cinematography was outstanding, the plot, for me, took a while to get up to speed (maybe knowing where it was all heading made me impatient, but it did feel a tad sluggish!) That aside, it must be hard to bring something fresh to each successive Agatha Christie TV/Movie adaptation – how many have there been now on the TV and at the cinema? Happily, there were enough subtle differences this time around to keep Agatha-adaptation-addicts interested!

Except perhaps, for the person seated about six seats to our left, who could be heard snoring within 15 minutes of the start – and continued right up to when the lights came on! Ahh, bless! Not a Poirot fan then????

I’d say if you enjoy Agatha Christie novels – especially the adventures of her Belgian sleuth (and aren’t afraid of totally OTT moustaches) then go see this one! Kenneth Branagh made the most of his $90m budget – it was a lavish production that ticked most, if not all, of the boxes for bringing something fresh to this well-known story. Acting throughout was very good, especially in the final act – real edge-of-your-seat stuff! – although overall, I didn’t think it sported the same ‘star quality’ as Branagh’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’?. On a final note, it might be worth seeing this adaptation just to learn why Poirot’s moustache looks the way it does!!

I can’t wait for the 4K DVD version to be released as that’ll bring out the picture quality – definitely one for the collection. πŸ€”

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