This week has been a dream for me as an Agatha Christie lover – I have read Murder on the Orient Express, I have listened to Murder on the Orient Express (thank you BBC Radio 4 Extra) and I have watched Murder on the Orient Express. So this post is a little different because I cannot just leave it as a book review as I have so much love for this story.
I decided to read the book before I saw the film simply because I am a Bookworm and it has been a long time since I have read this title (or any Agatha Christie novel) and there was a beautiful edition published to go along with the release of the film which looked like a first class ticket to the Orient Express. So it is fairly simple, I loved it. I know the story, the characters and the twist but I still find it page turning because it is told in Agatha Christie’s unique style. Poirot is a wonderful detective and a lot of the enjoyment is being in his mind as he solves the mystery of the murder of the American on the Orient Express (which is surprisingly busy for the middle of winter). The thing I love the most about this tale is how it leaves you thinking about the conclusion – and the morality of the tale.
So, like so many Christie fans, I was intrigued by another version of Murder on the Orient Express. I have watched the old versions many a time and I have listened to the BBC Radio adaptation many a time too so I was not sure where else this tale could go – and how loyal to the book it would be. However, to sum up, I loved it. Branagh has brought a wonderfully romantic version of the story to the big screen. It is not word for word the book and it has taken a couple of liberties but at the heart it it still the story. This version has brought some humour to the story (often at the expense of Poirot himself but it is all affectionate) but there is clearly love for the work of Christie at the centre of the adaptation. The acting from the whole cast is wonderful, I would be here all night if mentioned each star by name, but of course Branagh shines as Poirot and leads the cast with expertise. Overall, I adored this film and would happily watch it again and again (just like I have done with all other adaptations growing up).
I cannot spoil the story for any of you but if you love a classic mystery story or you are not sure where to start I cannot recommend Murder on the Orient Express enough but please do try to read the book first!