‘Death on the Nile’ remakes a classic murder-mystery

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20th Century Studios

“Death on the Nile” stars “Wonder Women” actress Gal Gadot.

Zain Shamasseen, Staff Reporter

“Death on the Nile” is the 2022 remake of the 1978 film, based on the 1937 Agatha Christie novel of the same name. Featuring a star-studded cast including Gal Gadot and controversial figure Armie Hammer, the film directed by Kenneth Branagh is one that largely follows the classic murder-mystery plot. Previously delayed several times because of COVID-19, the film made only 130 million dollars in the box office, which was an incredibly small profit in comparison to the film’s budget of 90 million dollars.

The film takes place on a cruise ship on the Nile River in Egypt. It follows the basic plot of the average murder mystery film complete with its “Who Dunnit?” feel and surprise ending. An overall positive of the film was that it convinced the audience of a high stakes situation. When two characters were alone in a room, you weren’t sure how many of them would walk out; it really tried to keep you guessing unlike other mystery-themed films.

The film follows the cliches of the murder mystery genre, giving each character a grudge against the victim, and making the least suspected person the killer. Although the film is fun, its predictable thinking and dull script make it a boring watch, because the viewer can predict most of what will happen. 

Since the cast is filled with established actors, the acting is strong and each actor brings something different to the table. For instance, Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh who directed and starred in the film as Hercule Poirot is one of the few actors today who is willing to show their stage acting experience. Branagh brings an old feel to a new film, and unlike his co-stars, he acts like an audience is right in front of him.

Gal Gadot, the female lead of the film, sometimes sounds bored in her delivery. With lines meant to give a dark and gritty feel to a bright film, she often sounds like she is reading the script aloud, and they just so happened to have recorded it. Overall, her acting was simply dull.

Cinematography isn’t just “lighting,” and can truly shape the whole atmosphere of a film. If “Death on the Nile,” had used colors and angles to show the darkness of a character when the focus was a suspect, the film would have an entirely new (and better) atmosphere. Overall the cinematography could have been better.

While the film doesn’t deliver much in its dull writing, dull cinematography, and dull plot, its strength lies in the versatility of its actors. Though boring and predictable at times, “Death on the Nile” is a good film to watch on a day when you have nothing to watch. I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who is an avid film watcher and critic, but would for someone sitting on the couch looking through HBO Max or Hulu.