Home Movie Reviews ‘Death on the Nile’ – Review
‘Death on the Nile’ – Review

‘Death on the Nile’ – Review


The great Sir Kenneth Branagh is ready to return to the world of Agatha Christie and once again steps into the perfectly tailored suit and styled moustache of the great detective himself, Hercule Poirot, in a brand new adaptation of Christie’s famed work Death on the Nile. And Branagh crafts a stylish, sexy and sinister thriller as he continues to explore the grand storytelling legacy of Poirot.

The peace and tranquility that was temporarily present on the S.S. Karnak is destroyed after one of the passengers is found murdered. Renowned Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is entrusted with the important task of identifying which one of the passengers is the killer before they strike again.

Returning once more to the big screen as the dapper and inquisitive Hercule Poirot is Sir Kenneth Branagh, and the world-renowned thespian and director pulls out all the stops with a must-watch adaptation of Agatha Christie’s famed story Death on the Nile. Taking audiences to the exotic landscape of Egypt, circa 1936 and the mystery of the Nile River, Branagh establishes a stylish, slick, sexy and sinister new sequel to his hit 2017 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express and in doing so continues the adventures of the grand Poirot. And what an experience it is. Painting a lavish portrait on his cinema canvas, Branagh crafts a film that is beautiful to look upon and entices you in with a twisting and complex narrative that changes the rules at every turn and which will have you clutching the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

Serving as both lead actor and director, Branagh has intimate knowledge of the world of Agatha Christie and her charismatic detective, Monsieur Hercule Poirot and in Death in the Nile he is able to focus on further character development of the great detective while showcasing a dangerous new crime that will test the detective’s skills and intellect right to the edge. As a filmmaker, Branagh is a man who is in love with the scope, scale and possibilities that the movie theatre provides and make no mistake Death on the Nile must be seen on the big screen. With a talented cast and team at his side, Branagh makes Death at the Nile an utterly incredible work to watch on the big screen and he spares no expense in bringing the glamourous world of an exotic Egypt of the 1930s to life. Costuming and production, hair and make-up, visual effects and score all come together to bring the heat and passion of this story to the big screen and you’ll find yourself transported to a far away time and place and it’s an utterly marvellous watch.

Where his work on Murder on the Orient Express was more in keeping with the classic murder-mystery, here in Death on the Nile, Branagh turns the heat up and this film is a pure thriller in every sense of the word. Dripping with sex appeal and seduction, Death on the Nile is a firey and passionate film that gets under your skin, and soon a deadly game of murder is afoot and everyone aboard the glamourous and exotic cruise line, S.S. Karnac, is a suspect. While Branagh does take his time with the narrative he moves quickly and sets up the jealousies and resentments that set the story in motion, and gives this film a steely noir edge that makes the proceeding story extremely interesting to watch. Branagh moves from left to right and his talented cast keeps you hooked and your mind running in puzzles and you won’t want to look away as the body count rises and Poirot is pushed to the limits to solve the case.

As this is the second time around, Branagh also allows himself the ability to draw out Hercule Poirot’s character development and fans of the character will be in for a treat as to what mysteries he brings to the screen. One particularly notable scene reveals itself as an origin of sorts and it’s incredibly interesting to see Poirot’s intellect and curiosity form. Audiences will be in for a definite treat with this further exploration of the dapper detective and it’s very fun to see two sides to this famous character. One is the aloof, suave, dandyish man of the world who basks in his worldly travels, expensive meals and quality beverages, the other is a committed, and frenzied bloodhound who becomes downright dangerous when he’s stuck into a case and it’s a great juxtaposition to watch unfold on screen. Branagh has the ability to easily snap back and forth between the two personas of Poirot and it makes his performance very interesting to watch.

As a director, Branagh has also assembled an incredible cast to bring Death on the Nile to life and there are real standouts amongst its rank. Gal Gadot brings a radiant glamour as heiress Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle and there’s a flamboyant style and interesting two-faced quality to her performance. Gadot is sharp and lustful as Linnet and she portrays her as a woman used to getting what she wants and whose actions have also brought her scornful enemies at the same time. Opposite Gadot is Emma Mackey as Jacqueline de Bellefort, a sophisticated and dangerous femme fatale who has it in for Gadot’s Linnet and Mackey keeps her cards close to the chest as this haughty, debonair character. Russell Brand makes a complete and total transformation as the good Dr. Linus Windlesham, polished and pressed in an array of perfectly tailored suits it’s a real turnaround for him as a performer and he brings an interesting perspective to the story. Then there’s Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French as Marie Van Schuyler, a socialite turned communist and her nurse-companion Mrs. Bowers and the two of them keep the plot interesting.

Death on the Nile is a cinematic thriller that is both beautiful and intense at the same time and audiences who are seeking a grand adventure will be transported back in time thanks to its grand production, sensational narrative and marvellously rendered characters. It’s a movie-going experience worthy of the big screen and audiences will have a glorious time when they buy a ticket for this exotic ride.

Image: 20th Century Studios