WHO KILLED JOHNNY DEPP?
By Mary Cox
In this remake of the 1974 movie, “The Murder on the Orient Express” we see a star-studded cast packed with Academy Award winners and nominees. It is one of the most gorgeous movies I have ever seen. The cinematography is breathtaking. I was not sure if it was the snow on the screen or the air conditioning, but I about froze. I used my jacket as a blanket so if you go to see this film; dress warmly.
In 1934, a lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish and suspenseful mystery. From the novel by Agatha Christie, “Murder on the Orient Express” tells the tale of thirteen stranded strangers, anyone who may be the murderer, while detective, Hercule Poirot, races to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.
Five-time Academy Award Nominee Kenneth Branagh stars as Hercule Poirot. Branagh carries the film and is looking for a sixth nominee as best actor. Daisey Ridley is Mary. Leslie Odom, Jr. is Dr. Arbuthnot. Tom Bateman is Bouc. Josh Gad plays McQueen. Academy Award Nominee Johnny Depp is the murder victim, Ratchett. Academy Award Winner Dame Judi Dench is Princess Dragomiroff. Academy Award Nominee Michelle Pfeiffer is Caroline. Academy Award Winner Penelope Cruz plays Pilar and Academy Award Nominee Willem Dafoe plays Gerhard Hardman.
Kenneth Branagh also directed this version of “Murder on the Orient Express.” The film was written by Michael Green based on the book of the same name by Agatha Christie. I was not sure if it was the direction, or the script, or the fact that I read the book, and saw the 1974 version, but the film drug for me. It didn’t help that I knew going in who the murderer was. It is sort of like seeing “The Sixth Sense” a second time; the surprise disappears. So, for first time viewers, I think “Murder on the Orient Express” will be a very interesting movie as Poirot works through the clues and the red herrings.
As I said, the cinematography is spectacular. The costume design was stunning. Every character was dressed beautifully and their clothes matched their character’s identity. The sets were dazzling. The film starts in Jerusalem then moves to Istanbul. Once on the train, it moves through the Alps in winter.
Academy Award Nominee Patrick Doyle’s music was a beautiful backdrop to the action.
With this fabulous cast, I was disappointed that Branagh didn’t seem to spend enough time developing each character. With thirteen suspects, that would be difficult but.
I think Branagh should have paid more attention to the way the 1974 version was filmed; that movie received 8 nominations and Ingrid Bergman won for Supporting Actress.
For the sets, cinematography and costumes, “Murder on the Orient Express” needs to be seen on the big screen.
“Murder on the Orient Express” opens this weekend at AMC Showplace Edwardsville and AMC Eastgate Showplace 6.