New Thrilling Movie Released: ‘Death on the Nile’ Review

The movie, “Death on the Nile,” directed by Kenneth Branaugh, and starring Branuagh and Gal Gadot among its star-studded cast is another entry in the Hercule Poirot series of movies based off the books by Agatha Christie that began with 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” 

“Death on the Nile” is a story that on the surface is about the murder and the plot to find the murderer, but is trying to make a point about love and how different types of love influence characters’ actions and decisions. 

“Death on the Nile” conveys the complexity of relationships and the multifaceted nature of love; what evokes passion and joy is ultimately what hurts us most. This is shown most vividly in the keenly-chosen wardrobe that costume designer Paco Delgado uses to convey the intricacies of these relationships. 

One couple dances together at a music club–their movements are wild and free, and the woman, Jacqueline De Belfort(Emma Mackey), is sporting short mousy hair and is clad in a red dress. This scene is emblematic of the passion and spontaneity associated with love; Jacqueline’s comment that they have little money evokes the classic penniless-but-in-love trope seen in many pieces of literature, be it movies, books, songs, or more. 

The same scene hints at the second relationship: Jacqueline’s best friend, Linnet Ridgeway(Gal Gadot). Unlike Jacqueline, Linnet’s hair is combed and neat, her dress is silver, and matching jewelry adorns ears. She represents wealth, elegance, and grace; everything she does is effortless. 

The next time we meet Poirot(Branaugh), he meets Bouc(Tom Batemen) and is invited to an engagement party for the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Simon Doyle. Shockingly, however, it is Simon and Linnet Doyle and not Simon and Jacqueline. As we meet the increasingly eccentric cast of characters, it is revealed that Jacqueline is constantly interfering in their plans. The group decides to take a cruise on the River Nile. When one member of the party is shot and killed, it is up to Poirot to put his skills the task and find the murderer.

Jacqueline feels betrayed. But Linnet and Simon are in love; hurt feelings can’t stop that. Right? The audience must re-evaluate their morals. Who is in the wrong? The vengeful ex terrorizing the couple by following their every move? Or her best friend that has consistently stolen everything she’s loved? 

Other relationships woven throughout the story include Bouc and Letita, dressed in modest clothing each with a unique element, evident in the subtle chevron pattern and ruffles in Letita’s skirt or the bright salmon color of Bouc’s jacket. This symbolizes their relationship: secretive and sulky, but passionate and exciting. There’s also a secret lesbian couple: Miss Van Schulyer and Miss Bowers, who wear large, extravagant hats–emblematic of hiding their relationship–and who frequently have coordinating colors. 

This movie slightly deviates from the original 1937 novel, integrating new characters and changing some entirely. But it manages to retain the most important element: a compelling narrative that seamlessly aids the central mystery, giving audience members a chance for deeper introspection while enjoying a classic Christie mystery. 

We enjoyed this movie. It had all of the elements of a good murder mystery told in a compelling story. All of the characters added something to the story, and none of them, even the brilliant Poirot, were perfect or beyond reproach. 

At no point in the movie was it clear who the killer was until the very end. 

But even more than the murder mystery, the movie is about love and what it will make people do for it. The relationship between Linnet, Simon, and Jacqueline, the story of Poirot and his fiancé, the friendly relationship that Bouc and Poirot have with each other, all conspire to influence the mystery and make the reveal surprising, but reasonable. 

This article appeared in the February edition of The East Vision.