The Agatha Christie adaptations by Kenneth Branagh, including Death on the Nile and its prequel, focus more on the character of Poirot than the plot. Although this is a sensible approach for a classic that has previously undergone a number of adaptations, Poirot’s origin story in the movie differs from the novel (but not his personality). The story also deviates from the original plot, adding some new components while removing others.
The actors’ portrayals of their characters were admirably accurate. Due to a recent controversy involving an actor, 20th Century Fox regrettably had to edit a number of the original recorded film’s scenes. The excellent cinematography, eye-catching design, and nostalgic music instantly transport one to the 1940s. But does the movie honour Christie’s original work and its adored prequel (Murder on the Orient Express)? Does the movie live up to the hype created by the trailer? Continue reading to discover out.
Death on the Nile Plot Summary
Famous investigator Hercule Poirot travels to Egypt for a quiet vacation where he encounters Monsieur Bouc. He invites Poirot to attend the post-wedding celebration of his friend together with him and his mother. When Poirot arrives at the hotel, Linnet Ridgeway and Simon Doyle, the newlywed hosts, are already familiar to him. He had observed Simon Doyle and his fiancée Jacqueline at a club six weeks earlier. Jacqueline had told Linnet, her best friend, about her fiancé. Poirot laughs at how quickly love turned become a problem. Bouc introduced Poirot to every cruise passenger:
- Salome and Rosalie Otterbourne (Bouc s love interest)
- Ms Marie Van Schuyler and her maid Ms Bowers
- Louise Bourget (Linnet s maid)
- Dr Windlesham (Linnet s ex-fiance)
- Andrew Katchadourian (Linnet s cousin)
- Mrs. Bouc (Monsieur Bianchi Bouc s mother)
- And the uninvited guest who made a sudden appearance: Jacqueline De Bellefort
Linnet and Simon ask Poirot for protection after Jacqueline’s unexpected appearance, claiming they feel uneasy with her persistent surveillance. With hesitation, Poirot accepts. Jacqueline arrives at the steamer Karnak even after Simon transfers the group there. She impulsively shoots Simon in the leg one night after a violent argument at the pub. While Bouc makes a call to Dr. Windlesham to treat Simon, Rosalie leads a tense Jacqueline to Miss Bowers’ chamber. Everyone thinks that everything is under control, but they have no idea what will happen next. The following morning, Louise discovers Linnet’s body—shot in her sleep—on her way to her mistress’s bed.
Warning: Major Spoilers
Death On The Nile Ending Explained
Poirot has a great deal of sympathy for Jacqueline’s devotion to Simon. With a woman named Katherine, who accepted him despite his military wounds, he had also experienced a profound love affair. Poirot’s sorrow at her premature death inspired him to become a detective. Jacqueline has a solid alibi despite being the most likely suspect in the crime. Everyone on the yacht is a suspect since Poirot is aware that Linnet has no faith in anyone. Louise, her maid, has been especially wary ever since she found the body. This idea, however, is quickly dispelled when her slashed-throat corpse is discovered on the boat.
Poirot reveals a number of passengers as he figures together the mystery:
- Miss Bowers is not a servant but a friend of Miss Van Schuyler, who was stripped of her wealth by the Ridgeways.
- Andrew Katchadourian has consistently urged Linnet to sign some questionable documents. He has also attempted to kill Linnet and Simon by pushing a boulder down on them, but in vain.
- Lousie Bourget was bribed to stay put as she had seen the killer.
- Bouc has stolen Linnet s precious necklace on seeing her corpse.
Sadly, Monsieur Bouc is shot just as he is ready to reveal the killer to Poirot. Poirot approaches every passenger, unable to comprehend the loss of his companion or his failure to stop the killings. He affirms that Linnet was murdered by Simon Doyle, who has always viewed her as a golden goose for his hedonistic desires. Jacqueline De Bellefort, his one true love, is so committed to him that she orchestrates their crime out of love for him. Louise and Bouc were killed so she could silence the witnesses. Jacqueline pulls a revolver and shoots Simon and herself after Poirot reveals her. She finally carries out the sentimental conclusion she had always wanted to have with Simon.
Jacqueline was the one friend Linnet had who was never wanted her money, as far as she was concerned. She is nonetheless more dangerous than the others since Poirot notices that she is blinded by fanatical love when he sees her at the club. Simon would never have been able to carry out a crime this sophisticated that even rendered Poirot helpless without Jacqueline’s brilliance and devotion. She was aware that the hedonistic and heartless Simon would never be able to endure the repercussions of his crime. She thereby freed him from it.
Even though she is incredibly wealthy, Linnet Ridgeway has always felt unhappy and insecure. Despite bragging about her affluence on the outside, she feels bad for taking other people’s joy. She disapproves of Rosalie’s race, is unsupportive of Louise’s indulgences, lives off the money of the Bowers family, and snatches Rosalie’s best friend’s engagement. In this instance, as in many others Poirot encounters, the victim’s death was brought on by their Karma.
Poirot follows the advise of his late friend Bouc to take a break from solving cases and live his life after solving the case of The Death on the Nile. Three months later, Poirot is seated at Salome Otterbourne’s music concert at the film’s conclusion, his war scar clearly visible because he has lost his moustache.
See More: Death On The Nile Characters & How The Film Deviates The Novel, Explained
It’s always acceptable to make a few storyline changes in a modern adaptation of a classic in order to make the movie more watchable. The creators of Death on the Nile, however, obviously went too far with it. The movie makes an effort to fit a lengthy plot and a few extra scenes into its two hours. As a result, it picks up speed abruptly, refusing to let the audience enjoy the story or participate in the investigation. Too many edits prevent the movie from receiving the attention it deserves.
The flawless Poirot imitation by Kenneth Branagh and the top-notch work by each actor, however, never fail to impress. These elements make the movie a good one-time watch.
Kenneth Branagh is the director of the 2022 drama-thriller Death on the Nile.