There’s a shipload of affluent people. A romance turned sour. A spiked drink, a jewelry theft, and several nerve-racking gunshots! Death on the Nile is a classic Agatha Christie whodunit that makes the perfect plot for a blockbuster film. The upcoming film, set for release on 11th February, is a follow-up film to Murder on the Orient Express (2017).
Since its first official teaser on August 19, 2020, Death On The Nile has been desperately awaited by Christie and crime-thriller fans all over the world! Nonetheless, there’s a lot more it promises. It features Wonder Woman and Red Notice star Gal Gadot, Sex Education star Emma Mackey, Mirzapur star Ali Faizal, and several other prominent actors. With Kenneth Branagh’s brilliant direction and spot-on Poirot impersonation, fans’ expectations from the film are sky-high!
Death on the Nile, produced by 20th Century Fox, has had six delays so far. While one reason for that has been the pandemic, featured actor Armie Hammer’s recent controversy has significantly influenced the release. The production has minimized Hammer’s screen presence in the official trailer right after. Death on the Nile confirmed its theatre release with the official trailer drop on December 21, 2021. With their confident reassurance, fans across the world can only hope for no further ado.
‘Death on the Nile’ Trailer Breakdown: The Prospects of the Suspects
Following the adventures on the Orient Express, the globally-acclaimed detective Hercule Poirot embarks on a new journey. He is set on a luxurious Egyptian retreat on the steamboat S.S. Karnak. The river steamer is alive with a group of cosmopolitan, silk-stocking passengers, plush with all the luxuries one could ask for in the golden landscapes of the pyramids. The occasion is to celebrate the marriage of the glamorous and high-profile Mr. and Mrs. Doyle.
However, amidst the clinking champagne glasses, something alarmingly sinister persists. Things are not as festive as they seem, as Poirot has been invited to the retreat with a concealed motive! Anticipating a danger, an insecure Linnet Ridgeway Doyle seeks help from Poirot. Despite being a wealthy figure with bustling social life, Linnet Doyle seems to have no real friends!
On the other hand, Jacqueline De Bellefort has always considered Linnet a close friend. Unfortunately, things do not go very well for her as jealousy ensues and love takes a different turn. At the same time, every passenger appears to mask some envy and hatred behind their smiles. Just then, to Poirot’s horror, the intuition turns into reality when a murder is committed! And every sophisticated Karnak passenger has a motive for the barbaric act!
Poirot starts piecing the puzzle together while judging everyone as a potential suspect. But there come several revelations and some evil twists along the way. To make matters worse, more murders follow!
Pieces of the Puzzle:
While neither the teaser nor the trailer reveals the victims, it makes a few hints at the crime.
- A Falling Boulder: Linnet and Simon Doyle are attacked by a large boulder that falls from the top of a sculpture they were leaning next to. One can make it out as a failed attempt to kill either of the two (or both).
- The Gunshot: The gunshot is featured as the weapon for the crimes. However, there is not one but several gunshots. In a scene, a gun (perhaps the prime murder weapon) is slid under a table by someone with their foot.
- The Body: One corpse (perhaps the first crime) is seen to be carried downstairs by the staff. This indicates that the crime may have been committed in someone’s room upstairs. There is a glimpse of a trapped body (apparently a woman’s) in water when another murder is announced.
- The Scuffle: A scene captures a violent clash involving Bouc, Dr. Bessner, Rosalie, and Mrs. Otterbourne.
- The Spiked Drink: In the teaser, there is a very cliched scene of a person maliciously drugging someone’s drink.
The film maintains continuity with “Murder on the Orient Express” with Monsieur Bouc’s character. He is Poirot’s old friend and fellow countryman, who also happens to be the Compagnie Internationale des wagons-lits director. In Kenneth Branagh’s adaptations of Christie’s novels, Bouc acts as the Watson to Poirot’s Sherlock! While being a catalyst to the plot, Bouc is the only main character who is not a suspect (except for Poirot himself). As shown in the trailer, Bouc appears to be an event organizer for the honeymoon of the Doyles. In a plot where no one can be trusted, Bouc is a neutralizer and the only person Poirot shares his ideas with.
Nonetheless, the film made a critical error in continuity with the previous one. In Murder on the Orient Express, Poirot is informed about a murder that has been committed on the Nile. However, the upcoming film begins with Poirot taking a vacation on the Nile, and the crime gets committed later in the story.
Consistency With The Book
While the essence of the storyline appears to be the same, several elements in this adaptation are not consistent with the original novel. The trailer shows racial diversity, a trait missing in most stories back in the day (around the 1930s). The blonde and thoroughly British Linnet Ridgeway turns into a brunette (played by Gal Gadot), where her understated Israeli accent persists.
Rosalie and Mrs. Otterbourne are portrayed as black women. Certain prominent characters (from the book), such as Tim Allerton and his mother, seem to be missing from the film. On the other hand, characters like William Charmichael seem to be revamped into a brown-skinned Andrew Katchadourian (Ali Faizal). For those who haven’t read the book, it will be interesting to see how the changes in characters turn out for the story.
“Death on the Nile” promises suspense, action, drama, several plot twists, and a steamy romance. It is interesting to see how Christie dives deep into human psychology and explores it like no other! The upcoming film offers everything one can think of or expect from a vintage, classic, crime-thriller.