Death on the Nile
Following 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, director Kenneth Branagh revisits Agatha Christie’s repertoire with Death on the Nile, once again directing while also starring as infamous detective Hercule Poirot. The premise is not too dissimilar: a murder takes place in a confined space and the culprit is amongst the limited number of passengers present.
Death on the Nile begins with a brief prelude giving an insight into Poirot’s past: a tragic event in his youth is shown seemingly with the purpose of explaining his moustache. The action then moves to Egypt, where a newly-wed couple takes a group of friends and acquaintances on a celebratory tour of the Nile. An unwelcome guest hops on the boat, and tensions run high until they culminate in murder. Poirot, who happens to be one of the guests on board, sets out to discover who committed the crime.
Glitzy and glamorous but sorely superficial, the film fails to maximise the thrill of the murder mystery, while also missing the opportunity to reinvent the old-fashioned colonial picture depicted by Christie.
The large cast includes Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Emma Mackey, Letitia Wright, Annette Bening and Russell Brand, to mention a few. Unfortunately, none of the characters they portray come across as having any depth to them. Gadot’s performance in particular is too flat and inexpressive for such a central role. In fact, everything from the costumes and makeup to the sets gives off an inauthentic feel.
The fact that this classic whodunnit was made into an excellent movie in 1978 makes the objective of this remake even harder to understand. Granted, the story’s fame alone means that many will watch it out of curiosity, which is perhaps the reason why such films continue to be made in spite of their mediocrity.
Death on the Nile is released nationwide on 11th February 2022.
Watch the trailer for Death on the Nile here: