Pretoria News Weekend - - FILM - LIND­SEY BAHR

Ken­neth Branagh’s Mur­der on the Orient Ex­press is a vis­ual feast, burst­ing with movie stars, glam­our and pro­duc­tion value. A per­fectly de­cent adap­ta­tion of Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel with the likes of Michelle Pfeif­fer, Pene­lope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench and Branagh him­self light­ing up the big screen.

Branagh plays the lead, Her­cule Poirot, a dandy Bel­gian de­tec­tive with a glo­ri­ously over­the-top mus­tache who can only see the world as it should be.

Chance brings him aboard the Orient Ex­press, which should have its own credit, where he meets an odd group of strangers – a sul­try widow (Pfeif­fer), a se­cre­tive gov­erness (Daisy Ri­d­ley), the doc­tor whom she pre­tends to not know (Les­lie Odom jr), a gang­ster­like art dealer (Depp), his valet (Derek Ja­cobi) and his book­keeper (Josh Gad), a princess (Dench) and her maid (Olivia Cole­man), a re­li­gious zealot (Cruz), a volatile dancer (Sergei Pol­unin) and his sick wife (Lucy Boynton), a Ger­man pro­fes­sor (Willem Dafoe) and a count (Manuel Gar­ci­aRulfo). And then one of them dies – there’s at least a chance some­one read­ing doesn’t yet know who – and ev­ery­one re­main­ing be­comes a sus­pect. – AP

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