A Hollywood Flick, A Floppy Moustache, a Discount Mystery…By now most of you will have had the chance to watch Kenneth Branagh's version of the great Agatha Christie classic Murder on the Orient Express. Released at the end of last year, it stars Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Branagh himself in the lead role.
That was his first mistake.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the flick (hell, I'll take Brad Pitt in the lead role if it means more Agatha Christie stories brought to life on the big screen) but I kept thinking Kenneth had forgotten who he was playing and morphed into Sherlock Holmes.
It all came down to that moustache. What was that about?! Perhaps Branagh's hair and make-up people hadn't read any of the books, or perhaps he was bringing his own interpretation to the part, but that was no Poirot mo!
Everybody knows Poirot's mo is… well… slick and neat! As Captain Hastings says, himself, in his very first description of his friend: "His moustache was very stiff and military."
As Agatha Christie writes in the original Murder on the Orient Express: "…a small man muffled up to the ears of whom nothing was visible but a pink-tipped nose and the two points of an upward-curled moustache."
In contrast, Branagh's was wild and bushy and left him looking more like an Austrian beer maker than everybody's favourite, finicky Belgian detective.
But I forgive him. Really I do. While the mo is a pivotal part of the original character (and David Suchet pulls it off best, IMHO), I honestly don't mind that someone is bringing a fresh interpretation to an old character because, er, that's kinda what I do, isn't it?
My own special twist…
My Agatha Christie Book Club series is all about adding a fresh and modern perspective to an old classic. While I'm not actually rewriting any of Dame Agatha's stories (blimey, I wouldn't dare!), I do look at them afresh and celebrate the (sleuthing) wisdom within. And in my second Agatha Christie Book Club, Murder on the Orient (SS), I do just that, adding whispers of the original mystery in this very modern account of a series of murders that take place on a replica steamship called the SS Orient (a real-life ship, by the way).
With that in mind, I want to stop my griping and celebrate the movie by offering you a discount ebook! Yep, that's right, I'm dropping the price of my second Agatha Christie Book Club cozy mystery to just 99c! You can grab your copy here:
* Amazon kindle
* Apple iBooks
* Barnes & Noble nook
* Smashwords and elsewhere
And if you haven't seen the movie, please don't let me put you off. Suspect styling aside, it really is a cinematic delight. How can it not be? It's based on an Agatha Christie plot.
Happy (discount) reading everyone.