First of all, this review is for the movie and not the book. In fact I haven’t even read the book. Also, a disclaimer: there might be spoilers in this review.
The movie was fantastic! Loved the plot. This is one of the best mysteries I’ve seen. It was sometimes a bit difficult sometimes to understand what Poirot was saying due to his French accent. The movie kept me on the edge of my seat until the last second!
The movie starts off with a man who seems to be of very high importance and very picky about his eggs. I took him to be some sort of government official. Though, you soon find out that he is the famous detective Hercule Poirot! In just the first 10 minutes or so, the detective gives his deduction about some theft in front of the Wailing Wall. Instead of the three suspects, he finds the policeman in charge of the case guilty; with concrete evidence obviously. This scene, though confusing, was superbly done. I loved how Poirot used his cane to help catch the fleeing convict! To be honest though, I wanted the movie to quickly progress to the part of the Orient Express; the movie is called Murder on the Orient Express and not Theft in Jerusalem!
The Orient Express was beautiful. It radiated “poshness” and high class from every corner! It is a mark of luxury is what I thought. I really wish I can travel with such splendor.
The moment the train started moving and all of the passengers on board were introduced, I started trying to figure out who the victim is going to be and who the criminal is. I thought, everyone looked oddly suspicious (I should become a detective!). There wasn’t much surprise when the murder occurred. That was a bit lacking, I felt. The weather suddenly became bad, Poirot had trouble sleeping and the train got derailed. If these aren’t obvious signs, I don’t know what is! Now things get interesting.
The victim is Edward Ratchett (Cassetti as it is later found out). Seven frenzied knife stabs to the chest and drugged coffee lay in the crime scene. After going through all of the interrogations, I thought Countess Elena Andrenyi and Count Rudolph Andrenyi were the murderers. If only, the case was that easy! I found Pilar Estravados to be the most weird and creepy out of everyone. MacQueen acted very suspiciously by getting off the train and burning evidence of him stealing money from Ratchett. In fact everyone was acting very suspiciously. Poirot himself mentioned, “there isn’t a single person on the train who hasn’t lied to me yet”. The truth is darker.
The murder isn’t one or two people. Every single passenger on the train, except Poirot, is involved! I really wasn’t expecting this. All of these high class and rich people are murderers? This was a huge a shock. It felt like the whole train journey was just a set up for this murder. The objective of the murder? Revenge. All of these people had their lives affected by Ratchett (Cassetti). Every single on of them hated Cassetti to his guts. The crime committed by Cassetti in the past was very dark and grave. When I learnt about his deed, a shiver ran down my spine.
The case left me in a dilemma. What to do now? Should the passengers be charged for the murder and face judgment, or be given freedom as what Cassetti had done was pure devilish. I was satisfied with Poirot’s decision but still felt heavy weight on my chest. The question boiled down to; should a murder (or any other crime) be treated the same way regardless if the motive or does the motive also play an important role?
I still don’t know the answer to this question. If anyone wants to share their answer or their thoughts on this, please do so. It will make answering this question a but easier.