- 13 Nov 17
Classic whodunnit remake lacks suspense.
How do you make audiences care about a mystery when everyone knows whodunnit? That is the conundrum Kenneth Branagh faced when he decided to bring Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express back to the big screen, knowing that the novel and Sidney Lumet’s 1974 adaptation are widely loved.
His solution was to pack his remake with as much star power as possible. The director himself plays the famous detective Hercule Poirot, whose investigation of a murder on the legendary Orient Express brings him into contact with an array of big personalities. The motley crew includes Johnny Depp’s shady fine goods dealer; Judi Dench’s princess; Willem Dafoe’s suspicious professor; Penelope Cruz’s pious missionary; and Michelle Pfeiffer’s brash husband-hunter.
Branagh, who directed Cinderella and Thor, has an eye for the fantastical and fairytale-esque. The opulently decorated train is shown travelling through breathtaking cityscapes, as well as sunset-pink valleys and mountain ranges blanketed in glistening snow. His set designs and costumes are also theatrical and ostentatious – right down to Poirot’s ludicrously large moustache.