Death on the Nile is directed by Kenneth Branagh and is based on Agatha Christie’s novel of the same name. Michael Green has written the screenplay for the mystery thriller. The film stars Kenneth and Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Tom Bateman, Annet Bening, Russel Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, Letitia Wright, and Ann Turkel. The film is at least 127 minutes long.
The synopsis reads, “Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot’s Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple’s idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short. Set against an epic landscape of sweeping desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids, this dramatic tale of love gone wrong features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travelers and enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement.”
Death on the Nile Review Contains No Spoilers
In 2017, Kenneth Branagh left a lasting impression with his highly gripping murder mystery thriller, Murder on the Orient Express. As detective Hercule Poirot, he became the audience’s favourite in no time. In Death on the Nile, Branagh first takes us back to 1913, where Poirot is a soldier. The tragedy at the border leaves a scar on his face. But later, love leaves him scarred for life.
Years later, we meet our favourite detective Hercule Poirot taking vacation time in Egypt from all the cases and mysteries. Just as they say that a cat chooses its human friend, a mystery chooses Poirot. There’s a madly in wealthy love couple at the River Nile on their honeymoon. Some close family and friends accompany them. Well, things are expected to go wrong!
Together, they all plan to have a gala time on a lavish SS Karnak ship. But threat’s looming all around, and one murder creates panic among everyone. Who’s the murderer? Why did they kill whoever they killed? How did they kill in the presence of so many people? Will Poirot find the suspect before it is too late? The questions are many, and the answers are revealed in the end.
The opening scene of Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile is in black and white. It was a good idea to give a little backstory to Hercule Poirot. When the story and time progresses, it gets interesting, but only for a bit. The first half of the film is dragged, and you lose patience. It is used to establish the characters and give us an idea that every person on the ship has a motive to kill.
The lengthy sequences give us enough time to come up with theories and rightly guess what will happen next. Even the peppy music, stunning characters, mesmerising shots of pyramids and River Nile fail to entice us anymore. But the screenplay gets solid when things start to intensify on the ship. Even though the first half gave away a big hint on who might be the killer, you are glued to the screen in the second half. The pace is good, the characters become more interesting, and Poirot is finally in full detective mode.
What elevates the second half more is the music, the subtle humour and the performances. The camera work is excellent, whether it’s showing us the scenic beauty or zooming on the faces of characters to figure out guilt/fear. As expected, Kenneth Branagh is outstanding throughout as Hercule Poirot. Other actors who shine in the murder mystery are Emma Mackey, Letitia Wright, Tom Bateman and Sophie Okonedo.
Death on the Nile Review: Final Thoughts
Overall, Death on the Nile would’ve been much crispier and gripping if the first half wasn’t so lengthy. Even though the mystery is predictable, the brilliant second half packs enough tension and suspense. The film aptly describes Game of Thrones’ Jamie Lannister’s words, “The things I do for love.”
The film will release in cinemas on February 11, 2022.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.