Fourteen years after her mother, Caroline Crale, was hanged for the murder of her artist father Amyas Crale, Lucy Crale asks Hercule Poirot to investigate her father's death. She is convinced that her mother was innocent but is prepared to accept the truth, whatever that may be. Poirot visits in turn all five persons present when the murder took place including Amyas' best friend, Philip Blake, who was visiting the Crales when Amyas was killed; Philip's brother Meredith from whom Caroline supposedly stole the poison used to kill her husband; Elsa Greer, who was sitting for a portrait and with whom Amyas was supposedly in love; Caroline's half sister Angela who despised Amyas but believed her sister to be innocent; and Miss Williams, the governess. Having heard the tale from five different perspectives, Poirot reunites them all to identify the murderer. Written by
Quite the best Christie adaptation I or my wife have seen to date. We were particularly surprised by how emotionally engaged we were. Where as with most detective stories you remain dispassionate, quietly observing from the outside, FLP draws you in to care about the characters and come the final denouement we are both intellectually and emotional rewarded by the resolution.
The direction and story telling are perfect - cutting neatly between the present and five flashback accounts of the same 14 yrs old incident. We are led gently up all manner of garden paths, and even allowed to think we've 'nailed it' only to have our smugness shot down in the final reel. The acting is far above the norm, and the casting, especially of the flashback 'younger versions', particularly effective.
FLP is lovely to look at - with a nice contrast for the flashbacks to a heightened, over exposed look, and lovely to listen to - the score is a magnificently clever variation of the basic Poirot theme.
Yes - an all round joy that we even wanted to watch again the next day. A 'whodunit first' for us!
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