Murder on the Orient Express Review – Masterful Storytelling; Star-Studded Cast; Thrilling

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Murder on the Orient Express, from Twentieth Century Fox and Scott Free Productions, presents the timeless classic from master mystery writer Agatha Christie, a whodunit, taking audiences on a journey through the mind of the greatest detective in the world.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as Inspector Hercule Poirot, Murder on the Orient  Express stars Dame Judi Dench,  Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Defoe, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, Daisy Ridley,  Leslie Odom Jr., Tom Bateman, and also stars Oliva Coleman, Lucy Boynton, Richard Clifford, Kathryn Wilder and Yassine Zeroual. The film was adapted by Michael Green.

The film begins at the Wailing Wall, in 1939, a small boy, played by Yassine Zeroual,  runs dramatically through the crowd, darting around, carrying a precious cargo in his hands, he quickly dashes up the stairs and hands the box over to the chef who nervously walks over to a distinguished aristocrat seated alone.


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With a flourish the cloth is removed to reveal two perfectly boiled eggs sitting in white porcelain eggs cups,  to which our celebrated guest dismisses and our young charge begins his decent into the open markets of Jerusalem again and in a flash he is back with a second breakfast offering.

Suddenly the British Police Chief Inspector, played by Michael Rouse, arrives, a robbery has occurred, a precious artifact is missing, would the renowned inspector, the world famous, Hercule Poirot, played by Kenneth Branagh, assist?

At the Wailing Wall are three men, a Rabbi, played by Elliot Levey, a Priest, played by David Annen, and a Imam, played by Joseph Long. Poirot stands in front of the crowd explaining the crime, with each minute detail he brings to life images of the crime. One by one, each of the religious leaders are proven to be above suspicion. With fanfare and grand gesture our Inspector revels the theif! The crowd gives chase as he attempts to flee and he is arrested with the art in his satchel.

With another case solved, Inspector Poirot is off, on vacation. A train ride, would be just the ticket as he is told by an old friend, Bouc, played by Tom Bateman whom he happens to run into as he is securing the evening’s entertainment with a local girl, played by Kathryn Wilder. He explains, he is the concierge of the Orient Express, no more luxurious train accommodations in the world, and we could surly find a first class cabin for you as we always keep one free.

This is where our film shifts, as our guests, each with a hidden secrets and agendas, present themselves for the few moments in time they are all together. They can be themselves, a gangster, a princess, missionary, doctor or anyone as the chances of meeting again are impossible.

With a whistle and "All Aboard" the Orient Express pulls away from the station with our guests each unknown of what lies ahead. Other than a few bumps our Inspector, who unfortunately is faced with sharing a First Class cabin, is on vacation.

An avalanche and a train meet. Who prevails? The question is answered as our passengers are now faced with  the possibility of an even longer trip as the train engine car, in spectacular fashion, derails with the main cabins sitting precariously on a bridge over a deep ravine.

What follows is the cat and mouse game of whodunit and each of our esteemed and notable guests are suspects.

The guests on the Orient Express are arguably one of the most talented casts assembled and the characters so well written from the master of mystery herself, and equally modernized by the screenwriter, it is a master class of skill and talent.

The film is beautifully shot with sweeping grand vistas, the audiences sees the grand views and more one would expect on train travel. Filmed in winter, the beauty of an unspoiled landscape is mesmerizing.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, one can expect the twists, making the suspense written into the scripts even bigger and Murder on the Orient Express is just that.

Heightened suspense, traps and pitfalls, a cat and mouse race to find the killer, who is narrowed to one of our unsuspecting guests.


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With each back story of the characters folding over into the murder we see through the eyes of the Inspector and find that all, even the least, are suspects.

A thrilling and exciting ride. With dramatic flair and fashion, the film takes on a life of its own, as one would expect with a train, and with each revolution of the wheels the story unfolds anew. Fresh, expansive, and sharp. With a cast that leaves one spellbound, each scene, as the shots on the train, are in close quarters, one is captivated as they fill the screen.

Masterful direction, a star-studded cast acclaimed in their fields, an explosive storyline! Murder on the Orient Express is a spectacular!  Stunning and magnificent. It is a ride worth taking more than once.

Murder on the Orient Express opens November 10, 2017. See it! Prepared to be blown away. 

 

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