Hercule Poirot finds himself investigating the murder of his dinner host, Mr. Shaitana, who was stabbed in the heart while his guests played bridge. There are eight guests and Poirot finds himself in the company of three other investigators. The foursome interview each of the other guests in turn but make little headway until Poirot manages to reconstruct the various bridge hands played at the suspects' table. In doing so, he is able to identify one particular action that leads him to identify the killer.Written by
Unfortunately I have to judge this Poirot film on its own merits as I read the book so long ago I can't remember it enough to know how it was changed.
I realize that people who are familiar with the book are unhappy with this movie, and I probably would be, too, as Christie was a master. For some reason, her stories are often changed when adapted to screen. I have no idea why.
So I will have to review the movie as a standalone. Poirot attends a party given by a most peculiar individual, Shaitana (Alexander Siddig) who is murdered in the middle of the party. The question is, whodunit? Poirot believes the Shaitana said something at the party that frightened one of the guests. As he investigates further, he realizes that everyone has a secret they'd rather not be revealed.
I really enjoyed this. Suchet is just perfect as Poirot, and it's amazing that he's been playing this role for so many years, just remarkable. The acting was uniformly good, with Zoe Wanamaker a standout as Ariadne Oliver, and Alexander Siddig as Shaitana.
The murder mystery kept me interested, and while the production values were not as lavish as the Australian productions -- which really butcher Christie's books -- it was still well done.
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