Most helpful positive review
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Don't give up on this--it has merit!
on March 28, 2013
I have been an Agatha Christie/Hercule Poirot reader and lover for over 40 years. Orient Express is, of course, a classic--and agruably Christie's finest Poirot adventure. And though I find merit in most of the reviews, I would like to offer some counter-points.
Yes, Suchet's Poirot does seem to have lost some of his playfulness and charm as compared to the earlier seasons. However, I find Suchet's portrayal in this story to be very consistent with what and how an aging Poirot might actually be. By this point in his life, it follows logically that Poirot is undoubtedly fatigued--worn down by the years and the countless horrors he has witnessed in his amazing yet tragedy-filled life. Was he as much fun as the earlier portrayals of Poirot by Suchet in this series? Absolutely not. Was he real? I offer a resounding yes! I loved seeing him anguish over his decision at the end. I genuinely believed and felt he was wrestling with an intense moral dilemma: should he do what was legally right or what was morally appropriate? Poirot was a former policeman, remember. He had served the law all of his life and deeply believed in it--as Suchet so convincingly reminded us in this film. To abandon the law, then, was--for Poirot in this film--perhaps the most difficult thing he had ever been asked to do. Yet, deep down inside, he knew. He knew what he must do. And he followed his heart instead of his treasured grey cells--but not without paying a faith-shaking, heart-wrenching price (as subtly yet exquisitely conveyed by Suchet's face at the very end).
Was this version of Orient Express as true to the Christie version as, say, the Finney version? No. Were the characters strictly two-dimensional as Christie's usually were (out of necessity, since you never knew who was going to die and who did it)? No. Was this version real, dramatic, intense, riveting and deeply moving? ABSOLUTELY. I found myself genuinely caring about these characters, and the acting, directing and production values were simply extraordinary. At times, for instance, I actually found myself shivering right along with the Poirot! It may not have been vintage and classic Christie, true, but this version of Orient is and always will be (in my opinion) an excellent cinematic experience. Even if you have seen the other versions, see this one, too--but do not compare it. Just bundle up, brace yourself, and enjoy and savor it. It is, in a word, transcendent.