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The Lobby Observer

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Agatha Christie Book-to-Movie Adaptations: A Worth-While Series

Agatha+Christie+Book-to-Movie+Adaptations%3A+A+Worth-While+Series

Agatha Christie is a name known worldwide for her captivating murder mystery novels. In the last few years, some of her most loved stories have been adapted into the movie format. 

A Haunting in Venice, loosely based on Christie’s novel, “Hallowe’en Party,” was released on September 13, 2023. This follows Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express released in 2022 and 2017 respectively. All three movies are rated PG-13 and also have a similar rating of around 6.5/10 on IMDb.

Director, Kenneth Branagh who plays Hercule Poirot, the infamous detective, in all three movies has taken on the task of creating films based on Christie’s novels. Murder on the Orient Express is not new, as there was a 1974 version previously made. While a fourth movie has not been confirmed, many of the producers have hinted that there may be one. 

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

Murder on the Orient Express was the first of these series to be released. We are introduced to Hercule Poirot, the keen detective who is supposedly able to solve any case with his skills. The movie takes place on a train, where Poirot is on his way back from a vacation. On the train ride, there is a murder of a wealthy passenger causing commotion throughout. Poirot takes it upon himself to discover who did it before the train reaches its destination.  

For me, this movie is a classic. I’ve watched it so many times in my middle school classes, and it never gets old. One of the best parts of this movie is the casting. There were many well-known actors such as Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer. With movie adaptations, many people feel that the true essence of the book disappears with the story being cut down to such a large extent. In this movie, the suspense and feeling of the murder mystery stand true to the novel. 

DEATH ON THE NILE

Death on the Nile takes place mainly on a boat, serving as a vacation spot for a newly married couple and their guests. The Egyptian vacation goes wrong when unwanted guests board the ship and drama follows. 

This movie did not live up to the expectations and raves that I had heard about it. Following the last movie, I went into this expecting a similar enhancement of the novel. Unfortunately, it was a letdown as the graphics and scenery could not make up for the slightly boring film. There were sections of the film that became increasingly hard to patiently sit through giving a dragged-out feeling. Despite all this, the story was not changed drastically in comparison to the novel and did hold to some aspects. Out of all three movies, this was my least favorite, but still was a worth-while movie to see. 

A HAUNTING IN VENICE

A Haunting in Venice is about Rowena Drake, who after losing her daughter, has taken all methods to connect with the dead. She holds a Halloween party and later calls for a seance in her house with the medium, Mrs. Reynolds. Poirot is dragged to this event by his friend and is forced back into his career when the seance goes wrong. He has to figure out the murderer in the spooky palazzo on Halloween Eve before someone else falls victim. 

This movie was my favorite out of all three adaptations. The story is loosely based, with similar characters as the novel, but some plot and setting changes. As someone who has read “Hallowe’en Party,” the movie added the correct elements to make it more interesting for viewers as the novel itself is a little boring. The graphics and setting where the film was set added to the spooky and ghostly feeling of the plot emphasizing the idea that there were spirits of the pranks flying around the palazzo. The actors also did an excellent job of making their characters feel likable enough to not be a suspect in the murder. My favorite part was that I could not figure out the murder until the end when it was revealed. This film receives 5 out of 5 stars. 

 

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About the Contributor
Sahana Karthik '25, Managing Co-Editor
Sahana Karthik, a managing Co-Editor, is a junior at WHS and is currently in her third year of journalism. She enjoys the opportunity to talk to new people around the school and explore new areas of the surrounding towns. In her free time you can find Sahana walking her two dogs and hanging out with her friends.

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