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  • Writer's pictureKen Silvers

Death on the Nile

The latest version of "Death on the Nile" (the first cinematic version was released in 1978) stars an eclectic cast and is based on the 1937 Agatha Christie novel. The film is a follow up to "Murder on the Orient Express" and once more stars and is directed by Kennth Branagh who returns to the role of famous detective Hercule Poirot. The film begins during World War I as we see a young Poirot using his developing skills of deduction to help win an important battle for his Belgian company. We also see how the war caused him to sport his famous mustache. After we see Poirot in the war, the film flashes forward to a smoky London club in 1937 where our detective sees a performance by blues singer Salome Otterbourne (Sophie Okonedo) and witnesses a passionate dance between Jacqueline de Bellefort (Emma Mackey) and her fiance Simon Doyle (Armie Hammer). Soon Jacqueline's childhood friend, heiress Linnet Ridgeway (Gal Gadot) makes a splashy entrance to the club and is introduced to Simon. Soon Linnet and Simon are in a passionate dance (oops!) at the unexpected encouragement of Jacqueline. The film then moves forward six weeks later to our primary location of Egypt and the Great Pyramids where Poirot encounter his friend Bouc (Tom Bateman), who has climbed on one of the pyramids, and his mother Euphemia (Annette Benning), a renowned painter. Bouc then invited Poirot to join them at the surprise wedding between Simon and Linnet. At this point we meet Linus Windlesham (Russell Brand), an aristocrat-turned-doctor who happens to be Linnet's former fiance, Andrew (Ali Fazal), Linnet's cousin and trustee, Marie Van Schuuler (Jennifer Saunders), Linnet's godmother socialite, Mrs. Bowers (Dawn French), Marie's nurse, Louise Bourget (Emma Mackey), Linnet's personal maid, the aforementioned Salome, who has been hired to entertain, and Salmoe's niece and business manager Rosalie (Letitia Wright), who was Linnet's classmate and is Bouc's girlfriend. Also showing up is Jacqueline, the disgruntled ex of Simon who is stalking the couple as a form of mental touture. In fear of what Jacqueline might do, the wedding party boards a cruise ship, and sets sail on the Nile River. The group stops at a famous Egyptian landmark where Linnet is nearly crushed by a falling boulder. After this near brush with death, the group returns to the ship where they discover Jacqueline has boarded. Soon after she boards, chaos erupts on the ship, and an overnight murder occurs. Everyone is considered a suspect, with the exception of Simon, and Poirot begins his investigation. Who has the most to gain by the shocking death on board? Poirot questions everyone, and soon another dead body is found on board, and the mystery deepens. The film continues with another shocking death, and, as expected Poirot reveals the real killer after much deduction and investigation. The film does a masterful job of keeping those of who have never read the novels guessing until the end. I must say I enjoyed this effort more than "Murder on the Orient Express", and the cast in this film played a large role in the fun of this film. Plus, seeing famous British comedians Sauders and French reunited was a thrill and worth the viewing. The film looks beautiful and the entire cast was wonderful. If you enjoy mystery films based on classic novels, then "Death on the Nile" is worth your time. Now streaming on various outlets including HBO Max and Hulu. (Rated PG-13)



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