Movie Review – ‘Death on the Nile’ (2022)

SPOILERS ALERT!!!

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

I’ve recently seen the latest film adaptation of ‘Death on the Nile’ by director/actor Kenneth Branagh. This is the sequel to the 2017 film ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. This film was meant to come out in 2020. Sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic – please keep safe – the film was delayed. 😐

2022’s ‘Death on the Nile’ was one of the films I hoped to see whilst the pandemic was going on in 2020. I even made some predictions on the movie based on its film trailer at the time. It was interesting to compare my predictions on the film back in 2020 to what I actually saw at the cinema.

I enjoyed 2022’s ‘Death on the Nile’. The film does seem to be well-made and it’s a fascinating interpretation of Agatha Christie‘s novel by Kenneth Branagh. With that said, I prefer the 1978 film compared to the 2022 film. I actually feel the 1978 film is more faithful as an adaptation of the book.

Kenneth Branagh’s efforts in 2022’s ‘Death on the Nile’ are better compared to ‘Artemis Fowl’ which I saw on Disney+. However, I have issues regarding the execution of the development of some of the characters in this film. For one thing, the love triangle depiction is pretty overly sexualised for me. 😐

The dancing between Armie Hammer as Simon Doyle and Emma Mackey as ‘Jackie’ de Bellefort in the first nightclub scene is way too much in terms of how it’s sexed up. I also found it unnecessary to depict Simon Doyle and Gal Gadot as Linnet making out with each other when visiting Abu Simbel. 😐

It’s not what Agatha Christie would’ve envisioned when writing the original 1937 novel and I don’t recall it depicted in the 1978 film with Peter Ustinov. I also feel Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot is a little too aggressive when handling the crime investigations compared to Peter Ustinov’s Poirot here.

I’ve also noticed a pattern in these Kenneth Branagh-directed adaptations of the Hercule Poirot novels by Agatha Christie so far. Each of them ended on depressing notes. ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ ended rather depressingly and so did ‘Death on the Nile’, which was rather disappointing. 😦

I know murder was involved, but at least the 1978 film ended on a more cheerful note after the culprits in the murder were revealed. This seems to be the way modern adaptations of classic novels are made now. With the emphasis focused on sexualising the characters and making endings depressing.

It was interesting to see how Tom Bateman as Bouc, Poirot’s friend was depicted. In a sense, he played the David Niven part as well as the Angela Lansbury part as depicted in the 1978 film. He helped Poirot out with his investigation for a bit before ending up getting shot by one of the culprits.

I enjoyed Russell Brand’s performance as Linus Windlesham (not Dr. Bessner as predicted in my thoughts on the film’s trailer in 2020). It was interesting to see Russell Brand in this compared to watching and hearing him in ‘Hop’ back in 2021. His character seemed to have a thing for Gal Gadot.

Dawn French as Mrs. Bowers and Jennifer Saunders as Marie Schuyler turned out to be a lesbian couple in the film, I believe. This is something I don’t feel Agatha Christie would’ve approved of, as I imagine it wasn’t in the original 1937 novel. This is another occurrence in modern film adaptations. 😐

I was wrong about Sophie Okonedo as Salome Otterbourne and Letitia Wright as Rosalie Otterbourne as mother and daughter in the film, as they turned out to be aunt and niece in this. There are romantic connections between Poirot and Salome and between Bouc and Rosalie in this. 🙂

Incidentally, the film features an opening prologue scene where we see Poirot fighting in the First World War and the explanation is given on how he acquired his bushy moustache in these films. Whilst I appreciate the backstory, this scene could’ve been edited out, since it doesn’t serve much to the plot.

The rest of the cast are also good, including Annette Benng as Euphemia, Bouc’s mother; Ali Fazal as Andrew Katchadourian, Linnet’s cousin; and Rose Leslie as Louise Bourget, Linnet’s maid. There’s also Susannah Fielding playing Katherine, Poirot’s lover who we see in the First World War prologue.

I also felt more sympathy for Gal Gadot’s character Linnet compared to Linnet in the 1978 film. Overall, 2022’s ‘Death on the Nile’ was less than what I expected. I hoped to enjoy it more compared to 2017’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, but I have issues with the characters and the film’s ending.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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