When my parents came to visit, one of the things we did was see this movie. My mom is an avid mystery reader. I think she has read everything from Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie. So, when I saw the trailer for this movie earlier this year, I knew it was something we would do when they visited.
This movie is based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name. Poirot is one of the characters she writes about in her detective stories. I remember growing up watching the PBS Poirot series about the French detective. The plot, basically, is that on the way back to London, there is a murder on the train and Poirot must find out who the murderer is before they get to their destination.
The movie was just cinematically beautiful. There were these gorgeous, sweeping landscapes of the countryside as the train traveled to its destination. The characters were dressed beautifully in their 1930s fashion. The acting was so well done. Of course, that’s expected with a cast that includes Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley, and Kenneth Branagh. And the plot gave enough twists and turns and clues to make the entire story enjoyable.
As far as violence, sex, and profanity. There was a stabbing victim who is briefly shown, but only once. Also, there is another connected murder mystery that includes the deaths of a child, a pregnant woman, and a suicide, but none of those scenes were graphic. In fact, though you do see the stabbing victim on the train, you don’t see any other dead bodies throughout the movie. There is no sex, even though there is a hint of romance, but not even kissing. And I don’t remember any profanity at all. The dialogue was smart and stayed true to Christie’s writing.
The theme that stood out most to me was the portrayal of good and evil. Poirot, at the beginning, makes a statement about how everything should be a certain way, very black and white. But as he digs into the clues on this train and secrets are revealed, things start to gray. He has to decide whether to stay true to his beliefs or embrace the bigger and grayer picture for what it is.
It’s a beautiful movie. Even though my mom had read this story and knew the ending, she still enjoyed this film. I don’t know if it will be in theaters much longer, but if you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend!
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