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Tuesday, 14 November 2017
Murder on the Orient Express

Loved it!  I've seen Albert Finney 1974, David Suchet 2010, and now Kenneth Branagh 2017.  The Finney character is a little too robust for me.  Until today, I preferred David Suchet, probably from years of watching him do Poirot on PBS.  Kenneth Branaugh nails the need for perfection and balance and adds humor and a lot more humanity to the role. 

In the first scene, set in Jerusalem, Poirot sticks his cane in the wailing wall.  Just as Shakespeare used witches to signal a play was a tragedy, the cane later (at least to me) indicates that a little comedy may follow.  Indeed, comedy does follow.  There are humorous insults by Peroit and almost everyone in the audience laughed - not something that happened with the other two versions.  In the Finney version, there is a reference to a jury of twelve men that I thought wasn't going to be made.  When it finally is, it's a not done with words but art.  I think I was the only one laughing at the Leonardo sight gag.  Maybe the rest of the audience didn't get it or didn't think it right to laugh at the image.  I thought it was both campy and amusing.  (I am easily amused.)

There were moments where I was almost in tears (I cry easily also).  The other versions didn't make the death of Daisy Armstrong so heart wrenching.  There was real anguish from the actors.

The scenery is digital but amazing.  I don't know if it was because the A/C was working overtime in the theater or because the cold on the screen was so realistic, but I wish I'd worn a sweater.

Yes, the critics don't like it.  It is a little too fresh and strays from the novel.  The differences are improvements that update the story.  One doesn't go see it to find out who did it - we already know that.  I wanted to see the presentation of the characters and the story and I wasn't disappointed.  This is definitely my favorite version.

Posted by stormi36 at 6:11 PM CST
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