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
This is one of my personal top favorites of Christie's books, and I've always wondered why it hadn't been adapted for television; although considering how badly many of them have fared in the past, you figure maybe its just as well! Amazingly, this production has stuck remarkably close to the book - tight budgets and weather permitting - although it starts to derail badly a couple of times at the very end. Christie's books are sometimes quite dark and very adult, something which has usually been scrubbed out of the various movie and television versions, as they are dumbed down, cheered up, and "sanitized for your protection". However in this adaptation, the producers have instead chosen to "dive deep", and have come up with something surprisingly moving, which starts to edge towards Greek tragedy. In many ways, it stands head and shoulders above prior Poirots.
The casting has netted a very interesting group of actors, although as much as I admire Aidan Gillen's work he is the last person that I would have thought of for Amyas Crale - I would have looked for someone more like Denis Quilley. Suchet's work here is just about seamless, as he wisely takes a "less-is-more" approach to this serious outing. Its amusing to see Annette Badland in a minor role; she appeared memorably in a "Miss Marple" many years prior, as an unfortunate victim tied to a clothesline.
23 of 29 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this