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"Agatha Christie's Marple" Nemesis (2007)

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30 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Oh dear - pray to St Elspeth!

2/10
Author: Iain-215 from United Kingdom
21 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Nemesis' is one of Christie's last books and by this stage in her career the narrative tended to ramble and there were plot-holes aplenty. That said, the central plot line is sound and many of the characters are well written but it could be argued that any screen adaptation might justify a little 'tinkering'. The BBC tinkered in a good way as part of their Joan Hickson series, retaining the most interesting characters, cutting out the less interesting and tightening the story - it was one of my favourites of the series! As expected by now, the 'new' McEwen version indulges in a great deal more tinkering. Indeed, this film bears very little resemblance at all to the source material. This time the really interesting characters have either been thrown out altogether (Miss Temple, the Professor, the two lady bodyguards) or radically altered (tragically the 3 sisters - now two nuns). Stephen Churchett has retained the duller members of the coach tour but because they don't have much to do in the book, this have given him scope to completely re-write their characters (the Lumleys and the Waddys). Miss Marple's nephew Raymond comes along though he's really not needed (I didn't like the fake nephew Lionel added to the Hickson version either) and Churchett gives us possibly the most irritating made up character ever in Ronni Ancona's screeching Miss Dalrymple (why didn't someone kill her?). There are too many changes to the story to even begin to mention. The sad thing is that this travesty in no way improves upon the original story - it's clunky, dull, improbable and (as always with these new adaptations) packed full of too much incident.

As always with the 'Marple' series it looks wonderful and has the usual starry cast but no-one really shines on this outing. Richard E Grant is always worth watching and so are Amanda Burton and Anne Reid but their talents are terribly wasted here. Geraldine McEwen annoyed me this time and I was extremely irritated at how no-one questioned why both she and Raymond were questioning the suspects along with the plodding, comic policeman. The whole thing shows a tremendous lack of respect for Christie's work. Why bother filming these things if the people making them think that the stories are such rubbish they have to be re-written? I've enjoyed some of these McEwen 'Marples' but not this one - its a stinker!

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44 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

An Assault on the Eyes, Ears and Brain

1/10
Author: dozatzz47 from United States
12 August 2007

This new Miss Marple must be intended for people who are deaf and absolutely clueless of Agatha Christie's books. Every character, every part of the plot, and the wonderful development of the mystery has been changed. What we get is an extremely loud, garishly filmed (in bright reds, yellows, ....eeek!!), MESS. The main characters of Jason Rafiel and Michael Rafiel have been changed of course. In keeping with this new series, their characters have been changed to make them German! Michael Rafiel's relationship as well as how he met Verity Hunt has been changed also to an untasty dish served cold. Enough to turn the stomach. The "sisters" who are pivotal to the plot, are now nuns.....real sisters in the Catholic Church sense. The wonderful Amanda Burton is such a good actress, but she's totally wasted here as one of the new characters of a Nun. Richard Grant, also a good actor, is also wasted as Miss Marple's nephew, Raymond. They now make Miss Marple's nephew into a comical, silly, womanizer. Gee, I almost forgot to talk about Miss Marple and her role in this dreadful crime (I'm talking about the series). Can you really believe Geraldine McEwan when she states, "I am Nemesis," in this mystery? She twitters, twinkles her eyes and dithers around. It's really hard to pick out the worse of the lot in the new Miss Marple series, but this comes real close. I think "Bertram's Hotel" is the one that disappointed me most since it was my favorite book, with "Nemesis" as second. The scriptwriters, directors, set designers, everyone associated with this lousy series must have absolutely no sense of Christie's work. Believe me, you are NOT getting anything near to her impeccable mysteries.

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34 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Terribly Disappointing---Horrible Script

1/10
Author: doniejamesqm from United States
9 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This "Nemesis" is one really lousy Miss Marple. I agree that it's garish in the filming and the acting is so over the top it's almost laughable. But this is a series that makes the mistake of taking itself seriously. They make up the actress playing Miss Marple to look like an elderly Kewpie doll. She's also foolish and silly. Hardly believable as a great amateur detective. The plot is even worse. I grew up Catholic and know just who's allowed to put on a nun's habit. Take the character of Verity Hunt.....this chick would never have even been allowed to step into the convent. Quicker than she can turn her head the nun's garb hits the floor and she's horizontal with a German who crashed in the English countryside!! Unbelievable!! Just WHO thinks up this stupid stuff?? and who are they trying to kid? The old gal (Marple) looks like she's way over her head with these mysteries. But that's okay because there's enough actors acting more goofy than her. Well, almost.

I've loved the Miss Marple character for many years and have seen many reincarnations. I think this one hits rock bottom. It's worse than the American versions.

Strangely, I always thought that the British were so good at adapting books to film. As a matter of fact they put us to shame. No longer, however,

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29 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Another hatchet job!

2/10
Author: benbrae76
5 January 2009

Once again we are asked to delve into another McEwan/Marple/Christie murder mystery. Except that it isn't a Christie murder mystery. Only the name remains the same to trap unwary viewers. The real mystery is why the trustees of Dame Agatha's estate ever allowed this series to be made by disrespectful butchers. Only "A Murder is Announced" retained some faithful semblance of the original novels.

All filmed interpretations have taken some artistic licence with Christie's mysteries over the years, which is perfectly acceptable to most Christie fans, but none except this Marple series (and the Tony Randall ABC effort) have turned them into unrecognisable farces. And that is most definitely not acceptable. In the various episodes of McEwen/Marple we've been offered, by way of change to the originals, everything including different characters, different plots, different victims, different culprits, added murders, etc., etc., etc., and of course inclusions of Jane Marple into stories in which she was never intended to appear.

"Nemesis" is the last episode in which Geraldine McEwan dons the mantle of the elderly yet intrepid needle-clicking sleuth (we may, I think, be thankful for the omission of "A Caribbean Mystery"), and it once again takes Dame Agatha's wonderful original tale apart, and reconstitutes it into one that makes little sense, logic, or reason, adds, deletes, and changes characters, presents new plot lines and a new conclusion.

I can't detrimentally criticise the performances, I would be wrong to do so, but when a drama is billed as being based on an Agatha Christie novel I expect it to be, and expect to see, just that. Not something that is haphazardly jumbled together by an inferior hack.

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24 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Why is this called "Nemesis"?

1/10
Author: stevehau-1 from Australia
4 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have just watched this adaptation of the Miss Marple book "Nemesis" and am rather lost as to why this telemovie should be called the same.

The only characters in common with the book are Miss Marple (played all wrong by McEwan - again), Raymond West and Jason Rafiel. All of the other characters did not appear in the book. Again, as this series has done so may times in the past, the murderer has been changed and the entire plot of the novel reworked so that even those murdered during the course of the book are changed. The bus driver is portrayed as a sort of maniacal jailer with a mountain climbing fixation.

If you want a proper interpretation of the novel, go for the Joan Hickson version - this one is just plain odd.

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21 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Absolute filth!!!!!

3/10
Author: man14 from Porto, Portugal
29 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm not one of those persons who believe novels should be adapted to the screen faithfully, word for word.Changes have to be made,we're talking of two different mediums of telling a story.But changes apart, the storyline must remain the same;the characters remain the same,the solution to the crime must be the one devised by the novel's author. That just doesn't happens here. Stephen Churchett decided to be original and destroyed one of the best novels AC ever wrote!!!!To turn the three sisters of the novel into nuns?!!!!!!!!!!!!What the hell was he thinking of?!!!!To make Jason Rafiel a German emigrant and his son a German soldier?!!!!Will somebody please tell me what this changes add to the original story?Please?And I'm just touching the surface here;there was much,much more to be said about this piece of trash TV,but I won't even bother.AC must be turning in her grave,seeing what they're doing to her work,I promise you!If you can get your hands on the Joan Hickson's version of Nemesis,do yourself a favor and watch it instead. This one is a total waste of time! Just one more thing:Joan Hickson is THE definite Marple.She was absolutely perfect in the part,in the same way that David Suchet is perfect as Poirot.That said,I must point out that I actually enjoy Geraldine McEwan as Marple;she's not my favorite,she's not perfect,but she's a wonderful actress and thoroughly enjoyable to watch as the old spinster from St Mary Mead - and her performance is the only reason I'm giving this disaster area 3 stars,and not the 0 it deserves.

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20 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Laughable plot

2/10
Author: pawebster from England
2 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Thank goodness this was McEwan's last performance as Miss Marple. Of course Julia MacKenzie won't do much better unless they change the scriptwriters.

As others have noted, the plot of the book goes through not the word processor but the food processor and comes out as an unsavoury mess. It also makes little sense. Why anyone would continue on a coach tour after two deaths is perhaps the greatest mystery in the production - especially as this includes one of the victims' husbands (supposedly so, anyway).

As for the cast staying in a semi-ruined building without electricity and the whole case being entrusted to a detective constable, words fail me.

The acting is OK. Dan Stevens stands out as the German, though his role is stupid. Lee Ingleby, normally excellent, is a let down, especially as his accent wanders up and down the country.

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18 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

What happened to the book?

2/10
Author: michelleeb from London, England
9 January 2010

It's fairly enjoyable - if you haven't read the book. The only similarity to the actual book is a few names. The plot is different, the period is different, the characters are different. Why bother adapting the Miss Marple (and it should be MISS Marple and not just plain Marple - that's so very rude) books if the adaptors are just going to change everything about them? Why not just write entirely new mysteries, instead of hanging their own stories onto Agatha Christie characters and book titles? If you want to see Miss Marple:Nemesis, try the far superior Joan Hickson version. This version is not an Agatha Christie mystery.

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Very disappointing

4/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
7 September 2009

I did think this was a poor adaptation of the book by Agatha Christie, and I did think it is one of the weaker Marple adaptations. Honestly, sorry but the Joan Hickson version was much better. There is some very nice period detail and some lovely camera-work and costumes, there is some nice music and the supporting performances from Amanda Burton, George Cole and Richard E.Grant were fine. And you are left asking questions throughout, like a whodunit expects you to. However, the story was a mess, it bears little resemblance to the original story, and most of the plot changes were unnecessary. Also I have never quite been convinced by Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple, she just isn't my idea of the character. Miss Marple is very clever and very wise, not fussy. That is the main reason why I keep saying see the Joan Hickson versions instead, because Hickson was born for Miss Marple, and her interpretation was the truest to the Marple in the book. The script was quite poor, even for an Agatha Christie adaptation,the pacing was off and I am the only one probably who found the final solution confusing, and there was a lot of overacting going on in some parts. Overall, very disappointing, could have been so much better. 4/10 Bethany Cox

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Has anyone involved in the ITV Marple series ever heard of Agatha Christie?

1/10
Author: petehazell from United Kingdom
10 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For a series which is rivalling Jacques Cousteau's diving abilities, this one plumbs new depths. It's called Nemesis and it's got a coach in it. That's where the similarities with the novel end. As usual, characters are written in a completely unconvincing manner, nobody reacts naturally to any of the unfolding events and the entire cast seems to be treating the whole affair as if the characters know they are cartoon characters in a cardboard world. Agatha Christie tried to present intriguing puzzles with characters one could believe, and this series delivers on neither front. At least Miss Marple is actually present in the novel which the script-writer may have glimpsed in an airport somewhere - he certainly doesn't appear to have found time to read it.

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