4 out of 5 stars
If you are looking for an entertaining film to watch on the big screen, “Death on the Nile” is the movie for you. Like “Murder on the Orient Express,” Kenneth Branagh directs a murder mystery based on another Agatha Christie novel. Branagh plays the lead, Hercule Poirot, a famous Belgian detective in the early 20th century, when Christie’s novels take place.
“Death on the Nile” begins with young soldier Poirot serving in the Belgian army. He displays his investigative brilliance in the face of certain death and saves almost all his fellow soldiers.
Along with its incredible cast — which includes Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright, Tom Bateman and Armie Hammer — the story is set on a river boat on the Nile River directly in front of the Abu Simbel temples and will make your head spin.
The acting was supported by the film’s excellent cinematography. Specifically, Emma Mackey’s performance as the disgruntled and maniacal ex-fiancé was well done. The movie’s comedic and cultural elements were not its strong suit. It also comments on some of the setting’s current social mores, the clearest one being an interracial relationship and a disapproving mother.
Arguably the movie’s weakest point is that it takes about an hour to set up its central mystery. Until then, you might be tempted to write off this movie as boring, but you still hold out hope. However, in this first hour, if you are watching closely, you may be able to guess the twist at the end of the movie — and oh, is there a big one.
What is the point of watching a murder mystery if you don’t participate in the investigation?
The next hour begins with a bang. Literally. And until the end of the movie, you are constantly trying to connect dots, oddities and weird responses. Most of the time, you will notice them, but you won’t have a clue what to do with them. This is what makes this movie great.
If there was one theme, it is that “a person in love will do anything.” Love is the motive that this movie investigates. Although it is not the most in-depth look at what love is, it does thoroughly show the extent of the trouble love can get us into.
I gave this movie a 4 rating out of 5 stars because it achieved its goal of being an outstanding murder mystery with a twist that many won’t expect. It is also much more enjoyable watching it on the big screen and talking it over with your friends after.