Culture and Entertainment

Death on the Nile

BEWARE SPOILERS INCLUDED IN THIS REVIEW!!!

Saturday I went to see Death on the Nile with two of my sisters and my sister in law. I don’t go to see movies much (averaging less than one a year?), and between covid and fewer showtimes working with my schedule, I haven’t been since Jan of Feb 2020. So I was really looking forward to it.

I didn’t love Murder on the Orient Express, but I wanted to see Death on the Nile, and I thought the plot was probably more complicated than the Murder on the Orient Express (I remembered the result of the movie before watching). I had read this book too, but didn’t remember anything before going to the theater and assumed it was more complicated than Murder on the Orient Express which I feel is one of Christie’s overrated mysteries.

I’m not going to spoil the twist I don’t think, but I’m putting a warning just in case because I often am wary of any slight thing giving me any sort of preconceived opinion about a movie.

SPOILERS BELOW!!!

During the movie I did eventually guess the ending, then second-guessed, then realized I was previously correct. However, the movie was interesting and complicated enough that that realization didn’t really spoil it too much. My sister said some things were changed. Apparently a lot actually (I looked up the book summary on Wikipedia later), the book seemed to have several more characters than the movie, I think the filmmakers combined a few as well as removed some.

We thought the acting better than in the first movie. The scenery was of course lovely. And the costumes were stunning. However, it’s not something I’m likely to watch again. It’s a one and done sort of mystery movie plus I had content and quality issues.

When it first started, I thought, “I didn’t sign up for WWI trench warfare.” That requires steeling of the mind. Thankfully this section didn’t last too long or get too graphic (I just know so much more as an adult about the World Wars and warfare generally I just tend to fill in the blanks). . . not that I watched all of it.

From warfare to what feels like foreplay on the dance floor. Excruciating. Why?! And we get more of the same later. Between violence and second hand embarrassment (from awkward moments and sexual moments), I did quite a bit of looking away. Oh, and I could have done without close ups of Poirot, don’t need to see his pores or his vomitous mustache.

And like the first, it weirdly modernized some things, while portraying everything else stylistically and in other ways period correct. Why not just make it modern? (I’m guessing for the costumes, they were fabulous). These period ones aren’t going to match older, better versions (which I need to watch, the girls were discussing those afterward, especially the David Suchet versions).

Also, while I never liked Poirot in the books, if Branagh is trying to make a less annoying Poirot, he failed miserably. I cannot stand his excruciating sentimentality. I’ve only seen Branagh in Much Ado About Nothing, an episode of Wallander and the two Poirot films, and the latter three he’s directed (I believe) and in them he puts undue and undeserved emphasis on his character and has this excruciating sentimentality and heart-burning sort of schtick going on that’s supposed to be artistic and deep but patently isn’t, and I find it sickening.

Anyway, back from that slight detour, I did tear up (happening more and more to this ice-hearted lady), I think usually in reference to one particular character. And the end involves suicide (my sister warned me just before, but I figured as much). So any softies, be warned.

I did overall enjoy getting to go and watch it, and I’d recommend it to any Christie fans with reservations to watch in theater. It’s just not going to make any favorite or rewatch list of mine.

4 Comments

  • Catherine

    Went to watch this today! I loved the costumes and the scenery, same as the first one, but I think Agatha Christie tends to work better on TV than on the big screen? Agreed that Kenneth Branagh is so hammy, I still enjoyed it though. Tom Bateman (Bouc) is always great, but I spent ages trying to remember whether he’d been in the first film or not

    • Rachel Olivia

      I really need to watch the David Suchet Poirot. All that I’ve seen are new a bit scarring, like the newer And Then There Were None. The Amazon ABC murders I couldn’t make it through. And then I watched a new Miss Marple (pretty much just to see James D’Arcy) and it was odd too.

      I couldn’t remember him from the first movie, though I thought he was familiar, I looked it up later, the first movies is the only thing in his filmography that I would have seen him in.

  • Elizabeth

    I keep meaning to see this one but I’ve been nervous to for some reason. Glad you enjoyed it overall though, I’ve been curious what people think of it

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