Select Page

Murder on the Orient Express (2017) – A Glamorous Agatha Christie Period Drama

Murder on the Orient Express (2017) – A Glamorous Agatha Christie Period Drama


We may receive a small commission if you purchase an item using an affiliate link on this post.

Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Review

I’m not a scholar of Agatha Christie. My experience with Christie stories consists of the marvelous ITV adaptations like Marple or the more recent BBC series Partners in Crime. When news broke that a big-screen adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express was in production, naturally I became interested.

The Story and Passengers

Famous across continents, Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) has just closed his final case. The year is 1934, the setting Istanbul. Now his case is complete, Poirot is ready to retire from the spotlight and detective work. He obtains a ticket on a train where his once peaceful train ride turns into the scene of a murder!

Among the passenger list there is the single and American Mrs. Hubbard (Michelle Pfeiffer), and a defensive young doctor (Leslie Odom Jr.). Also on the trip is the pretty governess (Daisy Ridley) with whom Poirot spoke prior to boarding. A devout missionary (Penelope Cruz) who’s haunted. The prim and proper Princess (Judi Dench), and an experienced butler (Derek Jacobi). Finally, the wealthy Ratchett (Johnny Depp), a man with threats against him.

Film Review

Despite a large number of names cluttering the cast list, even this list does not introduce each of the faces we meet. This train excursion is one not easily forgotten for this reason and others. Among the cast already mentioned, there is also Josh Gad, an all-grown-up Lucy Boynton (ITV’s Sense and Sensibility), Olivia Coleman, and William Defoe. The cast list alone impresses. British stars (and American) seem to have readily joined this impressive period piece based on one of literature’s most talented mystery novelists. Though there is more reason to watch, that is reason enough to give this film a chance.

RELATED | AND THEN THERE WERE NONE (2015) – AGATHA CHRISTIE’S DARK AND MYSTERIOUS MINISERIES

Murder on the Orient Express

Considering the number of characters, it’s safe to coin this as an ensemble piece. The behind-the-scenes talent brings together a brilliant cast who carry their respective roles with the kind of panache these roles and story demand. One advantage is seeing “breakout” stars (like Daisy Ridley who stars in the Star Wars franchise or Leslie Odom Jr.) mingle with veteran talent. For example, lead actor Kenneth Branagh who also wears the hat of “director” in this all-encompassing period piece.

In a nutshell, that’s precisely what Murder on the Orient Express is. It’s an experience because of its scale and “stage.” If there is a flaw, it’s that the drama moves perhaps a little slowly. Of course, being a Christie story, a viewer should expect this to some degree. That said I do personally feel as if the story could have moved at a faster clip here and there. This is especially true because of Poirot’s “tedious” character. He’s a kind of type-A personality who, though I’m sure is true to Christie’s characterization, takes some adjusting too. As this was my first introduction to him, I was unsure what to expect.

RELATED | THE 39 STEPS (2008) – A ROMANTIC PERIOD DRAMA WITH ADVENTURE AND INTRIGUE

Minor missteps aside, Murder on the Orient Express is stunning. The sets are elaborate as each “stage” the scenes and actor perfectly. Then there are the costumes, which are gorgeous despite a limited setting (primarily a train) on which to shine. Behind the camera, some of these roles are filled by respected talent. This includes Patrick Doyle (music), and costume designer Alexandra Bryne (known for Phantom of the Opera and Marvel adaptations). Responsible for this cast is the talented Lucy Beven. Some of her many credits include the Disney stunners Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and the upcoming The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

Going into this without any impressions really aids in how a viewer experiences the plot. Though I did remember hearing who the victim was, I’d no idea how the pool of suspects would line up or who the murderer would be in this old-fashioned whodunit. In consideration of Murder on the Orient Express’ success, 20th Century Fox has already announced it will next adapt Death on the Nile, a novel I read is one of Christie’s most popular. If the company does move ahead with more of the famous Hercule Poirot’s adventures, I know I’ll be one moviegoer ready to catch up with the clever detective.

Where to watch: Murder on the Orient Express is currently in theaters, but you can pre-order Murder on the Orient Express on DVD or on Amazon Video (Affiliate Link).

Content: Rated PG-13 for some violence and “intense” moments. We see a flashback murder scene.


OVERALL RATING

Four corset rating 

“Hello, Gorgeous.”

ROMANCE RATING*

 three heart rating

“Happiness in marriage is entirely a

matter of chance.”

*There is very little romance in this film which is why a lower rating is warranted; however there is plenty of period drama romanticism in the piece!


Photos: 20th Century Fox

LOVE PERIOD DRAMAS, OLD-FASHIONED ROMANCE OR ROMANTICISM? SUBSCRIBE & FOLLOW:
                                                   
Period Drama lovers, head on over to our Period Drama Archives with personalized reviews sorted by historical era! The list continually updates, so make sure to follow. And then for all the romantics out there, check out our Old-Fashioned Romance page with posts sorted by Romance Genre! A helpful page to find just what you're in the mood for.
Welcome to The Silver Petticoat Review, the kindred spirit destination for lovers of romance and Romanticism. We cover both modern and classic film, literature, & TV from around the world and specialize in Old-Fashioned Romance, Period Dramas, Classics, and Romantic Storytelling without the excess of explicit content and unsentimental cynicism. We promote content ranging from G to PG-13 minus a few exceptions for artistic reasons and/or genre interest. For more information, see Old-Fashioned Romance 101 and Romantic Storytelling 101.
Run by twin sisters, Amber and Autumn Topping, at The Silver Petticoat Review we also celebrate cultural diversity. We believe stories have the positive power to unite, not divide. So, make sure to meet our contributing writers, a creative village of women from all over the world!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may include affiliate links. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase an item, at no additional cost to you, The Silver Petticoat Review may receive a small commission. However, we only recommend products or services we personally love or feel is valuable to our readers. Sometimes we also receive free products to write honest reviews. Each writer’s opinions are their own.

About The Author

Rissi JC

Rissi is a self-diagnosed Bookaholic and TV fandom addict. She’s currently an avid blogger and reader who enjoys interacting with readers, and often dreams about finishing her first novel. When not writing or reading, she can be found working as an INSPYs advisory board member or contributing to e-zines. Her scribbles are housed on her blog Finding Wonderland (http://www.rissiwrites.com).

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE SILVER PETTICOAT REVIEW

Welcome to The Silver Petticoat Review, the kindred spirit destination for lovers of romance and Romanticism. We cover both modern and classic film, literature, & TV from around the world and specialize in Old-Fashioned Romance, Period Dramas, Classics, and Romantic Storytelling without the excess of explicit content and unsentimental cynicism.

SUBSCRIBE

TSPR-SUB-BUTTON-wf

AMAZON ASSOCIATES DISCLOSURE

The Silver Petticoat Review is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

CLOSE

 

The Silver Petticoat Review

Love Period Dramas & Old-Fashioned Romance? Follow:

 

 

 

 

 

Join us as we connect you with the best of old-fashioned romance & Period Dramas from around the world. Subscribe for exclusive access to a fun & helpful newsletter and once a week updates.

Subscribe

CLOSE

Thank you for subscribing!