There is a saying which goes “two wrongs don’t make a right“. The expression alone is a perfect description of Kenneth Branagh’s remake of Agatha Christie’s timeless tale.
In all honesty, prior to seeing the film I wasn’t aware of the story, including the characters and the plot developments, which is perhaps the reason I enjoyed it so much. In fact, from the very first shot till the last scene, the film is absolutely stunning visually!
The cinematography, partially supported by the soundtrack, creates the right atmosphere to slowly develop and attract all the mysteries. The reason I’m saying ‘partially’, is because at times I simply didn’t feel like the music completely translated the feelings that should be connected to a particular quote, interaction, or plot twist.
Just a month ago, Blade Runner (2017) re-demonstrated the importance of a strong and carefully edited soundtrack for the creation of a long-lasting impression and a superior experience of a film.
Murder on the Orient Express admittedly doesn’t use all its resources, that is, as best as it could have, and the soundtrack is just one of the aspects that can be refined.
The acting is perhaps not impeccable, but certainly above-average, which is enough to satisfy the viewer. Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder why certain choices were made in the postproduction process. Provided that some of the scenes or moments had been avoided or subtly changed, the entire flow of the film could have been improved.
For The Atlantic, Murder on the Orient Express might be a Ride Worth Skipping, as they phrase it, but I disagree – the overall result is rather pleasing. We do agree about one thing, however, which is the cinematography. As the magazine writes, ”Kenneth Branagh’s remake looks great.” Indeed, it does!
Also, I second the next sentence, which is to be found further down in the article: ”There should be a law against casting Judi Dench in a film and then giving her virtually nothing to do.”
Joke aside, despite their many memorable performances and endless charisma, both Johnny Depp and Judi Dench had such a limited screen time, especially the latter, which is a shame.
What’s the final verdict? Murder on the Orient Express is an enjoyable ecranisation well worth your time!