Murder on the Orient Express

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Kenneth Branagh as detective Hercule Poirot in front of the Orient Express

Kenneth Branagh as detective Hercule Poirot in front of the Orient Express

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Kenneth Branagh as detective Hercule Poirot in front of the Orient Express

Dominick Celestina, Staff Writer

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Murder on the Orient Express, a who-done-it film adapted from Agatha Christy’s novel by the same name, is set in the 1930’s and features an all-star cast, which includes many names, such as Johnny Depp, Kenneth Branagh, Willam Defoe, Penelope Cruz, and Judy Dench.

The film starts slow and stays that way, taking place almost entirely within the train cars. The movie itself was visually stunning. The “Orient Express” had impeccable scenery that draws the viewer into the film, accompanied by intriguing characters and imaginative costumes that make the movie hard to look away from.

The movie begins when a ruthless business man, named Samuel Ratchet (Johnny Depp) began to find frightening notes in peculiar places. An anonymous note saying “Watch your back”, was found in his luggage aboard the Orient Express. Due to his dark past as a forged art dealer and kidnapping murderer, Ratchet knows anyone could be after him.  He then enlists the aid of Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh), the greatest detective in the world.

Poirot, with his lovable European accent, does what he does best as chaos ensues during a stormy winter night on the Orient Express. Unfortunately, Depp’s character is the first to go, as Ratchet was stabbed to death 12 times just before an avalanche derailed the train. Poirot is awakened when he hears a noise coming from Ratchets compartment, when he looks out of his door he sees a girl in a blood red cloak smiling while running away.

As the Orient Express is being dug out of the aftermath from the avalanche, Poirot forms a few hypotheses about the murder. In the end detective Poirot solves the mystery as all twelve of the characters took a stab at Ratchet and all of them were in some way connected to a kidnap and murder that ratchet had committed some time ago. Poirot decides the killing was justice served because each one of them had suffered due to Ratchets evil deeds, and Ratchet deserved what had happened to him.

The entire film consists of the twelve main characters putting on a charade for Poirot to disguise the conspiracy. Mrs Hubbard (Michelle Pfeiffer) even allows herself to get stabbed in the back in attempts to recuse herself as a suspect.

Arguably the worst part about the film is that Depp’s character wasn’t in it long enough. Kenneth Branagh’s character definitely makes up for that with his massive presence, he steals the show. The film will most likely not be winning any Academy Awards, but with a dramatic score, colorful visual effects, and a star studded cast the film is worth seeing.

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