Mur­der on the ori­ent ex­press

MUr­DEr On ThE Ori­EnT EX­PrESS i An un­be­liev­ably starry cast as­sem­bles for a new take on Agatha Christie’s clas­sic who­dunit.

Total Film - - Contents -

All aboard Ken­neth Branagh’s lav­ish adap.

Alot of sus­pects,” grins Ken­neth Branagh, when Teasers asks what we can ex­pect from his lav­ish new take on Agatha Christie’s clas­sic mys­tery, Mur­der On The Ori­ent Ex­press. “A lot of sus­pects… and I think a bit more scope than peo­ple [ex­pect] – we shoot on 65mm [as with Dunkirk]. So we have a big widescreen ex­pe­ri­ence that peo­ple will en­joy en­ter­ing the golden age of travel with. It trav­els more than you’d think.”

Branagh’s is the lat­est adap­ta­tion of Christie’s 1934 novel, fol­low­ing the 1974 film, and TV ver­sions in 2001 and 2010. The pre­vi­ous ren­di­tions starred Al­bert Fin­ney, Al­fred Molina and David Suchet, re­spec­tively, as leg­endary mous­ta­chioed Bel­gian de­tec­tive Her­cule Poirot – the role Branagh takes here in ad­di­tion to di­rect­ing. Find­ing him­self

on the lux­ury lo­co­mo­tive head­ing west from Is­tan­bul, Poirot ends up on some­thing of a busman’s hol­i­day when a fel­low pas­sen­ger is mur­dered, and it’s down to him to de­duce the per­pe­tra­tor from a hefty list of fishy types.

It’s un­sur­pris­ing that Branagh opted for large-for­mat 65mm film for the first time since 1996’s Ham­let, given the amount of star power he has to cram into the frame. Among the trav­ellers are Johnny Depp’s busi­ness­man Sa­muel Ed­ward Ratch­ett; Michelle Pfeif­fer’s Mrs. Hub­bard, “A widow, pos­si­bly on the hus­band hunt,” ac­cord­ing to Branagh; Pené­lope Cruz’s Pi­lar Es­trava­dos, a mis­sion­ary; Daisy Ri­d­ley’s Mary Deben­ham, “A gov­erness trav­el­ling from Bagh­dad, orig­i­nally, to Eng­land,” says the Last Jedi ac­tress; Judi Dench’s Princess Dragomiroff; Willem Dafoe’s Ger­hard Hard­man, an en­gi­neer­ing pro­fes­sor; and Josh Gad’s Hec­tor MacQueen, who the ac­tor sums up sim­ply as “Johnny Depp’s bitch”.

Ken­neth Branagh’s phe­nom­e­nal fa­cial hair takes top billing.

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