Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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Death on the Nile, rated PG-13
** ½

Death on the Nile is a disappointing film that takes far too long to get to the murder mystery. The film is directed by eight-time Oscar nominee Kenneth Branagh (Belfast, Henry V, My Week with Marilyn), who also stars in the film as the world’s greatest detective, Hercule Poirot. The screenplay, with many changes from the original Agatha Christie novel, was written by Oscar nominee Michael Green (Logan).  Branagh and Green had previously collaborated on Christie’s 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express.

After an unnecessary opening scene from World War I in 1914 designed to provide Poirot’s backstory, we see him in 1937 in a London nightclub where he sees blues singer Salome Otterbourne, played by Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda), performing on stage.

He also sees socialite Jacqueline “Jackie” de Bellefort, played by Emma Mackey, introducing her fiancé, Simon Doyle, played by Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name), to her childhood friend, the heiress Linnet Ridgeway, played by Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), hoping she will give him a job. But when Simon and Lennet dance erotically, as had Simon and Jackie, there is instant chemistry, much to the chagrin of Jackie. Six weeks later, Poirot is on vacation in Egypt, where he reunites with his close friend, Bouc, played by Tom Bateman (Murder on the Orient Express), as he is flying a kite while scaling a pyramid, and meets Bouc’s wealthy mother, Euphemia, played by four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (The Kids Are Alright, Being Julie), a painter. Poirot is introduced by Bouc to Linnet and Simon, who are now married and on their honeymoon. A group of Linnet’s associates are gathered to join them, including Linnet’s maid Louise Bourget, played by Rose Leslie (The Good Fight),  Linnet’s cousin and trustee Andrew Katchadourian, played by Ali Fazal (Victoria and Abdul), Linnet’s communist-leaning godmother Marie Van Schuyler played by Jennifer Saunders, and her nurse and companion Mrs. Bowers, played by Dawn French, Linnet’s former fiancé and doctor Linus Windlesham, played by Russell Brand (Arthur), singer Salome, along with her niece and manager, Rosalie Otterbourne, played by Emmy nominee Letitia Wright (Black Mirror, Black Panther), also Linnet’s old classmate. The married couple are upset to see that Jackie has followed them on their honeymoon, seeking revenge.
To get away from Jackie, the Karnak steamboat is booked for the wedding guests and a cruise down the river Nile. It is finally here, well into the story, that the film begins to gain traction. From here, there is a murder and then plenty of twists and turns to keep your attention.
Themes include greed, jealousy and deception. Content concerns include erotic dancing, a same-sex relationship couple, and some adult language.
The film includes beautiful scenes of Egypt and the Nile River area (much of which appears to be CGI generated), buildings, costumes and jewelry designed by Tiffany. However, the film was overly long at two hours and seven minutes, including an unnecessary opening World War I scene in 1914, and takes far too long to get to the actual murder mystery.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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