Murder on the Orient Express (2017):
Intellectually enticing and spiritually enlightening
a first-rate entertainment, highly recommended
Chong-Pin Lin 2017.12.11, two weeks before Christmas
"The scale of justice cannot always be evenly weighted. We must live with the imbalance and peace"
●so said detective Hercule Poirot toward the end of the film to all the suspects of the murder on the Oriental Express who sit at a long table just as the disciples of Jesus Christ did in the painting "Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci.
●How apt a statement, I thought, on the social agitation caused by the arduous pursuit of "transitional justice" in today's Taiwan. If a society pursues justice relentlessly in a reality that is more than just black and white and, as a result, sacrifices peace and harmony.
●This is the best performance of Kenneth Branagh as simultaneous film director and lead actor since his award winning "Henry V" in 1989 when he was 29, the same age as king Henry V during the tide-turning Battle of Agincourt where the British soldiers after crossing the British Channel defeated the French in 1415.
● In between 1989 and 2017, I must say, Branah had no lack of disappointing performances both as actor and director.
●The noble and chivalristic spirit that underpins the intriguing detective story is, to me, nostalgically missing in the 21st century.
● It is no small feat for a detective story to be moving as it conveys with subtlety the spirit of forgiveness.
● Agatha Christie enhanced an intellectually challenging "whodunit" with an elevating philosophical inquiry on judging good versus evil/right versus wrong. That too is a preciously rare scenery in today's movie landscape.
●The cinematography of the train going through the snow-capped mountains is gorgeously breathtaking, a feast to the eye and the soul.