After traveling on the Blue Train from Calais to Nice, Hercule Poirot is pressed into service to help solve the murder of heiress Ruth Kettering who is found savagely beaten in her compartment. She was the daughter of wealthy industrialist Rufus Van Alden and very much wanted a divorce. Both her husband and her lover were on the train but she had changed rooms with another passenger, Katherine Grey, so the question naturally arises as to whether she was the intended victim. Grey may also have had enemies as she had recently inherited a very large sum of money and greedy relatives had suddenly taken a interest in her. When an attempt is subsequently made on Grey's life, this appears to the case but Poirot methodically sifts through all of the clues to determine the motive and identify the killer. Written by
Uneven and sometimes hard to follow but gorgeously filmed with a good script and performances
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it was very gripping, very compelling and fun. Story wise, this adaptation of The Mystery of the Blue Train is disappointing, the plot changes are a great many and some parts were rather hard to follow. Plus I found some of the final solution on the contrived side, and the direction flawed. Flaws aside, the locations, scenery, photography, costumes and sets are gorgeous and picturesque and the train itself is imposing. The music has real flair to it as well, the script has its amusing and thoughtful moments and I thought the acting in general was fine. David Suchet of course is exceptional, and Elliot Gould is good as Rufus. James D'Arcy is very handsome and acts well, the character of Derek Kettering is rather unlikeable at first, but later you believe that he is innocent. Georgina Rylance is sweet and alluring as Katherine, Lindsay Duncan is delightful and Jaime Murray is attractive enough as Ruth. I was not a fan though of Nicholas Farrell's Knighton, the character I felt wasn't developed that well and Farrell couldn't seem to do anything with it. Overall, an uneven adaptation but in terms of production values and some good performances it is worth seeing. 6.5/10 Bethany Cox
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