Likes its predecessor, Death on the Nile (2022) is all about Poirot, with even the murders taking second place. But that’s still enough reason to catch this Agatha Christie whodunit.
Death on the Nile (2022) Synopsis
What should you do if the woman you once loved refuses to give up on you, and even gatecrashes your honeymoon every day? According to Hercule Poirot, nothing, but if you’re really worried, you should just return home and lock the gates. Wealthy socialites Linnet and Simon opt not to do so though; instead, retreating to the perceived safety of a luxurious river cruise ship. What ensues, without surprise, are murderous atrocities that horrify even the hardened Belgian sleuth.
I wrote about this before … somewhere.
In Secondary 1, I was a huge Agatha Christie fan. During that year, you’d rarely find me with a library storybook that’s not written by the First Lady of Crime.
Despite that fondness, however, I avoided the Hercule Poirot stories; I only read them when I’ve exhausted everything else. To paraphrase what Letitia Wright’s character states in this latest film adaptation, the Belgian super-sleuth is such a fastidious and arrogant man, so obsessed with saying his own name.
Unbearable, in other words. Making it worse, of course, is that in his stories, Poirot is hardly ever wrong. No matter how obnoxious he gets.
This “obnoxiousness” is, however, not without reason, as this sequel to 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express goes to great pains to explain. Without giving away spoilers, let me just say that the killings, even the (sometimes overcooked) CGI Egyptian sceneries are all secondary. This whodunit is in-and-out, all about Hercule Poirot. Who he is and what he represents, and how unfortunately you’d be if you have to see him work.
It comprises the mystery. To viewers there for the murderous thrill, or blood, this character dissection is probably a frustrating distraction too.
I didn’t feel so, though. While more attention on the suspects would have fleshed out the mystery and provided more grip, I thought the conflicting personas of Poirot is in itself, a mystery to investigate. Perhaps not as juicy as all the killings going about, but nonetheless intriguing in its own way.
Moreover, the sleuth’s clumsy trepidations towards love, or the nature of it, shine an indirect light on the motive behind the murders; I realised this after the show. This is similar to how the (frequently overcooked) gorgeous CGI Egyptian sceneries are sporadically interjected with animalistic violence. These aren’t for humour, IMO. Like any good murder story, these point at the truth behind everything.
The summary: I enjoyed this old-style whodunit quite a bit, though I agree it could have been more intense.
The (very overcooked) CGI adds an old-world flavour too! As did the fabulous costumes and that oh-so-enjoyable blues music.
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