The remake of the 1978 film, ‘Death on the Nile’ (2022), based on one of Agatha Christie’s novels, falls in the genre of detective thriller.
As a newly-wed heiress is found dead on board, the detective Hercule Poirot must identify who the murderer is before the journey of the Queen of the Nile ends.
With a runtime of two hours and seven minutes, the film directed by Kenneth Branagh keeps the audience engaged for the entire length, bringing forth a new twist and creating a tingling suspense till the very last straw.
The plot unfolds with a love triangle between Jackie (Emma Mackey), Simon Diyole (Armie Hammer) and Linnet (Gal Gadot). Simon and Jackie are introduced as star-crossed lovers made for each other. However, when Jackie introduces Linnet to Simon, hoping she will offer him a job, a spark ignites between Linnet and Simon.
Six weeks later, Poiro is vacationing in Egypt and he comes across his friend Bouc whose mother Euphemia is a renowned painter. A group of people is formed as they travel on the river Nile on the cruise ship Karnak.
Linnet and Simon ask Poiro to protect them from the jealousy and vengeance of Jackie, who follows them like a spectre. Jackie is insecure and untrusting of the people around her and constantly tells that to Poirot.
As a series of events occurs that includes three murders and the missing of the valuable jewel necklace, the question of who the criminal is emerges. As Poirot investigates every person in depth, he can finally unravel the mystery, picking up clues and collecting evidence that points to how swiftly the murderer had cleaned his bloody hands. Each person is a suspect. And as they eliminate each probable suspect, there remain only a few. Is there a single murderer or an accomplice too?
In the subplot runs Poirot’s own narrative. As he devises a strategy to help the Allied forces against the Central Powers, it disfigures his face. His nurse, lover, and wife, Katherine, encourages him to hide his scars by growing a mustache.
A potent theme that runs through the film is of how dangerous love can be. Love is not safe. Jackie and Simon’s love and Poirot and Katherine’s love are both deadly. So deadly that they can claim lives!
Did the star-crossed lovers actually kill? Did they have blood on their hands?
The film is set in Egypt. The imagery of the desert described aptly with pyramids and mummies reminds the spectator of the film, ‘The Mummy’, and its follow-ups which were also set in Egypt.
The beauty of the River Nile is captured quite realistically. The Nile is shown as a deathly river full of menacing and venomous snakes, just as the name of the film ‘Death on the Nile’ is apt as the mystery is of a murder that takes place on the Nile.
No doubt ‘Death on the Nile’ is full of glitz and glitter in the beginning before the horror strikes! Just like ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, ‘Death on the Nile’ too is a signature Agatha Christie storyline that keeps the enigma unsolved till the very last scene.
On the whole, it is an entertaining film, yet a bit of a drag for the runtime.