Is the book always better?

“Murder on the Orient Express” fights to hold its own in box offices


Brooke McKelvey

With newer movies starting to take priority, “Murder on the Orient Express” falls into the midst of average movies currently in theaters.

83 years after the book was published, and 43 years after the first film, Kenneth Branagh adds to the legacy by putting Agatha Christie’s novel, “Murder on the Orient Express,” on the big screen once more. With a twist that only Christie herself could top, the ending of “Murder on the Orient Express” is something that no film director, even Branagh, can mess with, but he doesn’t miss a beat as he tackles this challenge with a star-studded cast and a few tricks up his sleeve.

The film follows famous detective Hercule Poirot, played by Branagh himself, on one of his numerous cases. This case in particular begins with a murder on a train, The Orient Express, and everybody on board is instantly a suspect. A majority of the film consists of Poirot interviewing the train’s passengers as he slowly starts to develop his final accusation.

Having read the book prior to seeing the movie, these interrogations started to grow tiresome, whereas they were captivating in the book. Along with that, I was a little disappointed with the execution of certain scenes. In order to make his style stand out from that of Christie, Branagh hypes up and adds on to a few scenes that might have been better left untouched.

“It seemed like they were sometimes trying to make a statement about racism, but they never finished the statement which was weird,” Lauren Griffith, senior, said.

Another scene that was Branagh’s addition came near the end when Poirot and a few of the suspects get mixed up in a shootout. In the book there was no gun, and this scene was barely touched upon. Differing from the interviews, however, I actually think this scene added a little more character complexity and depth to the film, making it feel more realistic in today’s era.

Along with that, the cast was amazing. From Johnny Depp to Daisy Ridley, almost every single face that came on screen was a familiar one. Every person brought their unique acting experience to their role, allowing viewers to draw conclusions about each character that were never explicitly stated.

“I really liked Branagh as the detective,” Griffith said. Griffith showed support for a sequel, under a few conditions. “I’d only want one if it was Branagh as the detective with a completely different mystery.”

Branagh has shown interest, and the end of the film definitely alluded to it, but he has yet to confirm on whether or not there will be a sequel. Starting out with such a well-known cast definitely puts pressure on a sequel, although Christie wrote a plethora of books, and Branagh has plenty of options to choose from.