Murder on the Orient Express

I know I’m late to the party, but I finally saw the new version of Murder on the Orient Express last weekend. I missed it during first run because I was so busy when it came out, but it started playing at the discount theater, so I went with a group of friends.

I read the book ages ago (I went through a massive Agatha Christie phase in junior high), and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the earlier movie version, but I really liked this one. I got the sense that they went into it knowing that most of the audience was well aware of the big twist, so instead of focusing on surprise, they made it more about a character study, letting us see some of the psychological analysis going on.

Mostly, though, it was a chance to watch a lot of great actors doing some really nice acting while wearing fabulous costumes in a gorgeous setting, with a lovely soundtrack. I even found myself wanting to see what happens next for the various characters. They seemed to be setting up more Poirot movies, but what I’m curious about is the aftermath for the other people, who I’m pretty sure won’t appear in future movies. I’d be totally up for the continuing adventures of Daisy Ridley’s clever and logical governess character — I’m sure she’d be inspired by Poirot to start solving mysteries on her own.

And it makes me want to take a train trip, but Amtrak is nothing at all like the Orient Express. I’m not even sure the Orient Express now is anything like this Orient Express. When I took a long-distance Amtrak trip, we did have a long unplanned stop because of a death, but it was because the train hit a deer, not because a passenger was murdered.

At least, that’s what they told us, but no one came to question me, and no one gathered us into the lounge car to reveal who the killer was, so I guess I believe the story.

Anyway, I’d recommend this movie to those who like Kenneth Branagh movies, those who like old movies (it really felt like an old movie, like something that could have been made in the 1940s, only with improved technology), those who like trains, and even those who like mysteries. It’s fun to see actors get to disappear so deeply into their characters that you don’t realize who some of those people are until you see the credits.

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