fashion,  Films

Stylish Television: Murder On The Orient Express (2010)

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Agatha Christie on the television. This Christmas has been no exception. Today (28th December) has seen a movie marathon on BBC2 with both Witness for the Prosecution, and the Peter Ustinov double bill Evil Under the Sun and Death on the Nile showing this afternoon, along with an Agatha Christie documentary. Yesterday it was the turn of David Suchet and his feature length Poirot episode version of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, a wonderfully atmospheric version, filmed beautifully in shades of blue and grey that almost make you feel the cold of the frozen landscape.

The Agatha Christie’s Poirot version of this most iconic of stories was made in 2011, and, for a television series, it had a very starry cast. Chief amongst them was the Hollywood actress Jessica Chastain playing Mary Debenham, romantically entangled with David Morrisey. Also in the star studded cast was Toby Jones as the evil Ratchett, the murderer come murder victim, Hugh Bonneville, Eileen Atkins and Barbara Hershey in the showy role as Mrs Hubbard.

The film is wonderfully shot, giving the viewer the feeling that you are almost in the story, that you can feel the cold, and struggle to see in the dark. There is a sense of claustrophobia about the setting, and the heightened tensions are shown so well in scenes in the tiny train compartments. The story is kept traditional to the original Agatha story, with the back story of little Daisy Armstrong in place, the characters and their relationships all the same, this makes it a total treat for Agatha fans who hate to see her work changed (for instance, the most recent television adaptation of The Pale Horse).

The 1930s styling is impeccable, although not as glamorous as the 1974 adaptation, with Jessica Chastain and Elena Satine (as the Comtesse) leading the way. Poirot of course is an impeccable as ever and never played the role better, particularly when he loses it at the end when he releases how he has been deceived by all.

You can currently download this edition of Poirot from the ITV Hub.

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