ENTERTAINMENT

FAN EFFECT REVIEW: “Death on the Nile” is a glamourous mystery that diverts from the book

Feb 11, 2022, 2:34 PM | Updated: 2:42 pm
Death on the Nile...
A love triangle is formed in "A Death on the Nile" (2022), starring Gal Gadot, Emma Mackey, and Armie Hammer. (Photo Credit 20th Century) 
(Photo Credit 20th Century)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — Kenneth Branagh is back in Hercule Poirot’s iconic mustache (and the director’s chair) in “Death on the Nile,” the latest film spun from the detective series created by Agatha Christie. Branagh’s “Death on the Nile” retells the iconic story from the 1937 novel and boasts a beautiful cast, glamorous cinematography, and a modern twist. And what this mystery-thriller lacks in pace is made up by the deepening theme of obsessive vs. endearing love. 

The plot

In this sequel to 2017’s “Murder On The Orient Express,” famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is pulled into the drama of a strangers’ spectacular Egyptian destination wedding party by his good friend Bouc (Tom Bateman) and his mother Euphemia Bouc (Annette Bening).

The newlyweds’ Linnet Ridgeway (Gal Gadot) and Simon Doyle (Armie Hammer) have invited a diverse cast of friends and hired help to join them on a wealth-infused vacation down the Nile River. But their celebration is interrupted when Ridgeway’s former friend and Doyle’s former fiance Jacqueline de Bellefort (Emma Mackey) continually crashes the party.

In this emotionally charged atmosphere, the story dives into the intensely intertwined lives of the passengers. We discover more of Poirot’s previous life and personal trials.

Other reviews: “Moonfall” misses the mark of sci-fi fun and disaster camp

The trip becomes terrifying with murderous twists and social chaos, as our hero Piroiot tries to unravel the murder mystery. 

The good and the bad 

In this retelling of the well-known mystery, characters are consolidated and reworked. They simply shine with a more modern diversity. While starting a bit slow, the movie lowers you into a rich story of a picture-perfect couple living in sweeping desert vistas and majestic, albeit computer-generated, sweeps.

The stars and ensemble shine in their own right, with interesting side stories cleverly written, and even deeper themes of love and lust than those contained in the source material. 

Kenneth Branagh continues to develop Poirot beyond the iconic typecast of the detective. Branagh’s interpretation casts Poirot in a more personable light as an outright fish-out-of-water when he is thrust into an unplanned social situation.

Gal Gadot shines as the rich bride, who, while used to getting her way displays faltering confidence and unnerved vulnerability. Armie Hammer’s Simon Doyle rightfully exhibits the boyish appeal of Agatha Christies’ original, while Emma Mackey’s Jacqueline de Bellefort adds to the manic intensity and mystery of the character.

Other reviews: Fan Effect: Review of Captain Marvel

Tom Bateman’s return to the role of Bouc is a pleasant surprise for fans of the books; he admirably replaced a different character. And the switching of Salome Otterbourne from novelist to jazz singer added layers of nuance and a wonderful performance from Sophie Okonedo.

“A Death on the Nile” (2022) ensemble cast celebrates before tradgedy strikes their party. Photo Credit 20th Century.

“Death on the Nile” (2022) ensemble cast celebrates before tradgedy strikes their party. Photo Credit 20th Century.

The adaptation of “Death on the Nile”

I like to read a book before I see the adapted version for stage or film. It’s fun to see how other creatives take the writer’s world and adjust the story, and thus the message for a new medium. I feel it adds so much more to the narrative, an idea about which my cohost on the Fan Effect Podcast, Andy Farnsworth, and I disagree. 

So in the weeks before seeing “Death on the Nile,” I read Christie’s book. Then I read her “Murder on the Orient Express” and then saw the 2017 version of the film. 

I am so glad I did! 

I loved the 2017 version of “Orient Express,” and was very happy they did not “Hollywood” the ending. Which ironically Andy did not like, because he had not read the book.

While “Orient Express” holds more true to the source material, “Death on the Nile” does not. This adaption adds new and interesting twists to the actual mystery. The plot is ramped up by drama and sexuality. And that removes some of the stiffer social barriers of the original 1937 version.

At the same time, some Agatha Christie fans might be disappointed with diversions the plot takes. Particularly when it comes to changing some of the standard Poirot lore. 

Overall it was an enjoyable ride with enough twists and turns to keep even the most devoted Poirot fans guessing. The sumptuous scenery, exotic backgrounds, glamourous costumes, and decadent wordplay make your movie outing a mini vacation in this cold month of February. 

The film is rated PG-13 for violence and some bloody images. There is also sexual material that includes some uncomfortably long grinding-dance scenes. But as a murder mystery, the violence, blood, and murder are handled with a bit more class than seen in other genres of film. 

Would you like another opinion on “Death on the Nile”?

Check out my Fan Effect Podcast cohost Andy Farnsworth’s review for KSLTV, where he says “I actually enjoyed the story’s twists and turns and resolution more than I did in Orient Express.” and “Bonus, Poirot’s giant mustache even gets its own backstory!”

Beyond Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Gaming and Tech, the brains behind Fan Effect are connoisseurs of categories surpassing the nerdy. Listen regularly on your favorite platform, at kslnewsradio.com, or on the KSL App. Join the conversation on Facebook @FanEffectShow, Instagram @FanEffectShow, and Twitter @FanEffectShow. Fan Effect is sponsored by Megaplex Theatres, Utah’s premiere movie entertainment company. 

 

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

Entertainment

Art City Donut Truck's Conner Jensen, left, serves customers sugary desserts during the Food Truck ...
Devin Oldroyd

Eighth annual Food Truck Face Off to be held at Liberty Park on July 16

Utah's largest food truck rally for charity, Food Truck Face Off, is coming back to Liberty Park this July.
4 days ago
Gov. Cox urges safety ahead of firework sales. Photo credit: Lindsay Aerts, KSL NewsRadio....
Lindsay Aerts

‘Utah is a tinderbox.’ State fire leaders urge caution ahead of firework sales

State leaders are, again, reminding Utahans not to "burn down the state" as firework sales start Friday.
4 days ago
Lehi ban fireworks...
Mark Jones

Cities around the state announce fireworks restrictions

Fireworks restrictions have been announced by several cities around the state.
5 days ago
A model wears a creation as part of the Giorgio Armani men's Spring Summer 2023 collection presente...
COLLEEN BARRY

Gucci unveils ‘HaHaHa’ collaboration with Harry Styles

Gucci has teamed up with Harry Styles for a between-season collection that infuses tailoring with adolescent joy. The collection is titled “HaHaHa.”
7 days ago
garth brooks salt lake city concert...
Mark Jones and Mark Jackson

UDOT, UTA advise travelers to plan ahead for Garth Brooks concerts

UDOT and UTA are asking motorists in Salt Lake City to plan ahead in light of the Garth Brooks concerts set for Friday and Saturday evenings.
11 days ago
Utah Foster Care puts on Chalk Art Festival in The Gateway....
Waverly Golden

Utah Foster Care to hold Chalk Art Festival

Over 100 artists will compete in the Chalk Art Festival, presented by Utah Foster Care, over the weekend.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
FAN EFFECT REVIEW: “Death on the Nile” is a glamourous mystery that diverts from the book