While on their honeymoon in Egypt, newlyweds Simon Doyle and Linett Ridgeway are constantly harassed by Simon's ex-fiancée Jackie De Bellefort who feels her ex-best friend has stolen the love of her life. A holidaying Hercules Poirot counsels Jackie to put an end to her antics, fearing that all of this can only end in tragedy. When one of the passengers is killed while on a cruise down the Nile, Poirot must sift through an odd assortment of passengers, all of whom may have something to hide. There is Linett's financial advisor from the US, her French maid who clearly has something to hide, the Austrian doctor who keeps mostly to himself and the left leaning philosopher who despises the rich. Written by
This is one of Christie's most popular mysteries because it works with the "impossible murder." Its also an exotic way to manage the remote country house idea, where you know exactly how many suspects there are and can map their movements within the structure.
If you aren't unhappy with the others in the Suchet series, you won't be unhappy with this. Generally, they've settled the stories into a simple BBC model, with the answer revealed at the end instead of displayed as a puzzle.
This one is worse in that regard, because this story is more of a puzzle than the others. And they go much further in telling you who the villains are even before the story itself begins.
But what'll be interesting to students of film is the way the space is used. Despite the flaws of the 1978 version, it understood that the structure of the space is a part of the puzzle. People coming and going, being seen, being heard. This version and that use the very same boat, but the difference in how things are photographed is radically different.
Its partly a matter of cost. The TeeVee budget could pay for location shots, but when they use the boat, they have to work with the physical limits of where they can put the camera. The 78 version made a studio copy of much of the boat. It had a real cinematographer we're talking "Red Shoes" and African Queen" and knew something about how space constrains emotional vision.
So quite apart from whatever problems you might have with BBC handle of an entire genre, and Suchet's sensibilities, there's this business about space that just might drive you crazy if you know how well it can be done.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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