When was the last time Hollywood gave us a true old school style "whodunit" type of film? These types of stories, where a detective is presented with a crime scene and figures it all out with just their intellect and powers of observation have always made great cinema.
Murder on the Orient Express
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Judy Dench, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp
Tickets £5. Tickets can be booked online (click below) or from the Community Centre office.
Audiences have always wanted to figure out the culprit before its eventual reveal. Kenneth Branagh brings to life one of the most famous detective novels in Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express". He plays the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who is taking a bit of a vacation on his way to his next case on the famous Orient Express. Unfortunately, fate has its own plans for him as a murder most foul (I have always wanted to use that phrase in a review) happens during a snowstorm that derails the train. No one is seen by Poirot as innocent as he questions the passengers, follows the clues, and races against time to solve the case before the local authorities arrive and could accuse the wrong person of the murder.
This film has a true A-list cast: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom, Jr., Tom Bateman, Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, Derek Jacobi, Olivia Coleman, Willem Defoe, and Dame Judi Dench. And yes, they are ALL in this thing, as well as Branagh, who also directed. Branagh is truly enjoyable as the character who is a genius but has his own issues that actually enhance his powers of observation, and his direction is top-notch here. This is gorgeously shot, including a few shots where there is a nod to the old ways of effects, giving a tighter and more nostalgic feel to the modern telling of this tale.
The performances here are exactly what you would expect from a cast of this caliber. With a story that has been around as long as "Murder on the Orient Express" has been (the book was written in 1934), there is a bit of a minefield when it comes to bringing it to life that could easily fall down the slope into parody or cariacature, but diverse screenwriter Michael Green, whose resume covers everything from "Green Lantern" to "Everwood" and even "Logan," is able to write dialogue that lets the actors really get into the skins of these characters to treat them with the proper respect and dignity. Each character has its own arc and motivations that work into the larger picture in a way that is engaging with no wasted space at all.
This is a film that simply entertains. For great escapism and a reminder of a simpler time, "Murder on the Orient Express" achieves its goal for an audience that can truly appreciate its greatness.
The New Royalty Cinema screenings are at the centreCinema in Bourne End Community Centre, Wakeman Road, Bourne End SL8 5SX
Tickets can be bought online (follow the link in the film summary on this page) or from the Community Centre office or on the door (subject to availability)
For information on the BBFC film classifications: Click Here
The New Royalty Cinema is a community cinema run by volunteers as a fund-raising event for Bourne End (Bucks) Community Association, a charity registered in England and Wales No. 300236