The Orient Express is surprisingly full for this time of year when, just after midnight, a snowstorm stops the train in the middle of Yugoslavia. Come morning one of the passenger’s lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times with his door locked from the inside. Isolated, Poirot must identify the murderer in case he or she strikes again. One of the most successful and widely recognised of Christie’s titles, the descriptions of the train ride show a glamorous lifestyle that doesn’t exist anymore; a slower, more elegant world.
Agatha Christie got the idea for the underlying plot from the headlines at the time. The mystery of the abduction of Charles Lindbergh’s son involving murder and extortion was dominating the papers. When Murder on the Orient Express was published the mystery was still unsolved.
Agatha Christie had long expressed a love of the Orient Express and finally traveled on it in 1928 with her first solo trip abroad. She noted the details of the carriages, clues such as the position of the door handles which would prove vital to Poirot’s investigation.
Murder on the Orient Express shows Poirot’s power of his little grey cells but also his compassion for humanity.
I had previously read Murder on the Orient Express but a very long time ago so decided to see the movie first.
Kenneth Branagh was amazing as Poirot. Though fussy, he wasn’t too fussy and the mustache is definitely epic. The acting was amazing, especially Michelle Pfeiffer. It was kind of nice to see Johnny Depp actually acting for once like a normal person. Refreshing.
The Oriental Express itself was beautiful – so luxurious. The costumes were amazing – I love the 30’s fashion and art deco element to the Orient Express.
The small amounts of humour were a bit distracting and obvious, unfortunately. I think he could have reached his verdict a little earlier without hurting the story – it was just a little long.
Some names and races were changed and a more modern perspective was used though I didn’t think hurt the story.
I liked the solution though I thought it a bit cheating (let me know if you disagree!). I did love that the twist was the same in the movie as it was in the book. Set up for another movie as well which I’m excited about!
BOOK OR MOVIE FIRST??
I watched the movie first! Then read the book.
I actually think both were so similar that it wouldn’t really matter. Though as a preference I think I’d read the book first so you see the Oriental Express come to life.
What do you think? Book or movie first? and make sure to check out my post on the Top 10 Agatha Christie novels you should read!