“Murder on the Orient Express” is one of the best movies released in 2017, and it’s the murder mystery film we all needed.
The plot focuses on the murder of Samuel Edward Ratchett, which takes place within the first class section of the Simplon Orient Express, a well-known railroad that stretches across most of Europe. Detective Hercule Poirot, an esteemed and successful detective, happens to be on board when this happens, and it becomes his mission to solve this meticulously tangled crime. In the middle of winter, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the murderer is someone likely still on board the train, making every passenger a suspect.
Based the novel by Agatha Christie, “Murder on the Orient Express” contains an impressive and qualified cast that steps into the roles of the characters effortlessly and executes it with perfection. Names like Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe and Penélope Cruz make up not even half of the famous and recognizable cast.
The cinematography is interesting and captivating, and it’s sure to win awards. “Murder on the Orient Express” producer, director and star Kenneth Branagh not only portrayed the character of Hercule Poirot with exceptional skill, but also shot and edited a film with originality and style.
Point of view was a very powerful element in the film as well. More than once, there were times when the viewer saw things as Poirot did, which cast an enchanting spell over the audience and allowed us to put ourselves in his position, studying and solving the mystery along with him from a closer perspective. As seen in the trailer, the scene directly after Poirot discovered the murder focused on the characters’ initial reactions to finding out about the crime. In this shot, the camera acts as Poirot’s eyes, slowly examining each of the 12 first class passengers as he breaks the news to them while walking down the hallway.
Some of the scenes directly symbolized specific stories that are widely recognized as iconic moments, such as a moment toward the end where the passengers are all seated along a table, much like the apostles were at the Last Supper. They were nervous figures awaiting an event that would condemn them as either guilty or innocent. All 12 of the first class passengers grouped together, much like the 12 disciples, and each of them harbored secrets and worries, which reflected the identities of the apostles on the night before Jesus was betrayed.
While there could be said to be times when the ending may be guessed, these moments are fleeting and quickly confuddled with extra details that confound the viewer to revoke their guesses. The ending is truly something unlike anything else that has come before it and will leave everyone shocked and in amazement. The execution of this mystery element is so well done that the only words that can describe it are remarkable and ingenious.
For us, there were no drawbacks or improvements that could be made to this movie. The only part of it that could get tedious for audience members is the large amount of character names that come into play. It could at some times be difficult to remember who was who, but it isn’t a problem that lasts throughout the entire film.
Agatha Christie’s masterpiece was brought to life in brilliant, addicting and well-executed ways in this movie. The plot was fantastic and didn’t leave the audience unsatisfied because of a cliche ending. Yet, the cinematography and acting guarantees this film as one of the best of 2017 thus far. “Murder on the Orient Express” deserves adoration and the bundles of awards it will surely win.
Stop what you’re doing, go to the theater and find out if you’re clever enough to solve this impeccable mystery before the final scenes.
The views expressed are those of the writers and not necessarily those of The Torch.