“I can only see the world as it should be. And when it is not, the imperfection stands out like the nose in the middle of a face. It makes most of life unbearable. But, it is useful in the detection of crime.”Hercule Poirot
Kenneth Branagh’s slickly produced take on Agatha Christie’s most famous novel is filled with shots of sweeping grandeur but what lies beneath is disappointingly bland. Branagh invests some time getting beneath Poirot’s magnificent whiskers, exploring the way an obsessive need for perfection informs his skill as a detective. The remainder of the characters are merely sketches, providing the fantastic ensemble cast little to do with just a few scenes apiece. Presumably intended to capitalise on Sherlock Holmes’ return to popularity, the film works best as a character study of Poirot and the moral quandary he must resolve. However, it still relies on its central mystery, a whodunnit that unfolds poorly with excessive exposition and an unsatisfying reveal peppered with flashbacks to provide information not previously communicated.