by Emma Zeller
Due to the constant push back caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, along with certain controversies that involved some of the cast, Death on the Nile (2022) was not as highly anticipated as some may have hoped. The murder mystery is a sequel to the 2017 film The Murder on the Orient Express, both directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh. The 2017 film was lackluster and forgettable which clouded my view going into this film, but after seeing it I was pleasantly surprised.
Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer character’s wedding scene
Death on the Nile is based on a novel by the same name written by Agatha Christie and has been adapted to screen a few times before. The film follows detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) as he investigates the death of Linnet Ridgeway, (Gal Gadot) After she is murdered while on her honeymoon with her new husband Simon Doyle (Armie Hammer). Other family and friends join them during their celebrations. The actual murder does not happen until later into the film, giving the audience time to connect with Linnet and the other characters. However, while time is given to connect with some characters many just appear in the movie to fill empty space. At times it seems like we are supposed to care about these filler characters and believe they serve a bigger purpose than they actually end up serving. The film’s ending was pleasantly predictable. From the beginning I was able to figure out who was going to get murdered and hwo had done it. Even though I predicted it, I was able to enjoy the process of Poirot piecing the story together. My only compliant was how long it took for the murder to actually occur. It seemed like they were just trying to drag out the run time for this film.
Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer’s scene
Kenneth Branagh’s performance was memorable and took my focus the whole film. Gal Gadot is very talented and was not given a lot to work with, but I believe she did the best she could with what she was given. The framing was the best part of the whole film. It was able to turn a simple shot of the newlyweds talking into a beautiful sequence. The editing and special effects did take away from the suspense of the film. A major factor was the location of the Nile and Egypt, it felt cheap and like they took the easy way out. The CGI was used frequently to provide wide shots that were unnecessary. Granted, there were points in the film that it was helpful to distinguish the location, but it soon became rather redundant.
Kenneth Branagh starring sequence
The film was predictable and could have had better editing. The CGI took my attention away from the story. The excellent camera work and framing could not make up for the poor ending. For as long as it took for the murder to actually occur, we deserved a better constructed ending. Besides all the technical aspects and the poor ending, the writing was enjoyable and I do recommend if you enjoy mysteries with a good heart to the story.
Gal Gadot's Entrance