The famous detective Hercule Poirot lives alone and aloof after two world wars, disillusioned by the horrors and base human tendencies he has witnessed in his career – until he is invited from voluntary exile to Venice by a crime writer.
A group spiritual session in an old, cursed palace is supposed to convince him that there is something more than materially provable. The group is connected by the tragic suicide of a young girl, the host’s daughter. This happened years ago in this very house, which is said to be inhabited by other ghosts of the past. But there are hints that it is actually a murder, and Hercule Poirot has to get into action again.
Full evening Death in Venice is the third original adaptation Kenneth Branagh any of the works Agatha Christie. According to canon crime novels Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile this time he reached for her lesser-known novel Halloween party, which can be counted in his favor, as well as the fact that he moved the scene to Venice. The city on the water is characterized by the spirit of grandeur and debauchery as well as decay and the premonition of death, if we do not even highlight the visual appeal.
Although he captured all these elements brilliantly Luciano Visconti in the film, the title of which was shamelessly copied by the Slovenian translators for Branagh’s crime novel, an important reference is still to highlight the shocking drama Nicolas Roeg Don’t look around from 1973, based on a creepy short story Daphne du Maurierwhere during the period of mourning after the unfortunate death of their daughter, the couple goes on a trip to Venice.
Well, Kenneth Branagh does not come close to the greatness of these works. What he creates with his character of Poirot and a series of film adaptations of Agatha Christie is what the French New Wavers would contemptuously describe as a “tradition of quality”. So, artistically decent full-length works, populated by star names and with good technical performance, but at the same time with the consistent use of a markedly conservative film language, are stuck in mediocrity. With a hint of untapped potential.
Although it brings Death in Venice among the three adaptations so far, the most fresh due to the introduction of some elements of horror and the emphasized creation of discomfort, everything still seems to be made mainly according to familiar forms. Which is probably partly the fault, if we can say so, of Agatha Christie herself; again, at the base of the narrative, we have a group of people in a closed space, in which Hercule Poirot, as a representative of the rational-analytical world, must use the skill of deduction to reveal the agenda of each individual and find the murderer or several of them.
Of course, this insistence on the same mold does not deter crime readers or viewers of Branagh’s adaptations.
From the show We’re going to the cinema.