yellow you don’t expect

Murder in Venice

The third film of the saga. Third try for Kenneth Branagh in the dual role of director and leading actor. After Murder on the Orient Express and catastrophic Murder on the NileIt depends on the Murder in Venice The task is to revive the fate of detective Hercule Poirot.

Film in cinemas September 14this is a film adaptation of a book Poirot and the Massacre of the Innocents From Agatha Christie. Unlike the first two chapters of the saga, numerous changes have been made from the original work, starting with the title and setting.

Branagh distances himself a bit from both Agatha Christie’s material and the detective genre. Murder in Venice in fact, it is heavily influenced by the horror genre that sometimes dominates the detective field. Could the saga thus find its formula for success?

Phantom case

AND Venice after World War II as a backdrop to Hercule Poirot’s daily life. A retired detective who left behind a life full of crimes, murders and investigations. Everything changes on Halloween night.

That night the opera singer Rowena Drake (Kelly Reilly) held a seance in her ghostly palace, conducted by the clairvoyant Mrs. Reynolds (Michelle Yeoh).

Ariadne Oliver (Tina Fey), Poirot’s friend and famous mystery writer, invites the detective to take part in a séance. Target? Prove your groundlessness. But, as always, crime is just around the corner. A murder disrupts Poirot’s plans, who once again finds himself investigating a crime that could test his rational view of the world.

Faith and Reason

And it is in one of these houses that it develops almost entirely. Murder in Venice. A closed environment within which we meet new characters, among whom the killer is hiding. Nothing new yet, repeating itself classic picture of the first two films. However, in this case, this place is in every sense an integral part of history and research. There is a sense of claustrophobia that comes over Poirot himself, who has never found himself in such difficulties (at least up to a certain point).

The warm colors of the Nile give way to the cool colors of Venice. A ghostly city, engulfed in a never-ending storm and legends. About ghosts that live in old (un)abandoned buildings.

As already mentioned, in fact, his modus operandi, his logical and rational vision, is being questioned. What if the soul really exists? Something beyond death, something that Poirot had seen so many times up close. The one who, more than any psychic, acted as an intermediary between the dead and the living. A messenger who can give voice and justice to those who are no longer here. But he also lost faith. There is too much darkness in the world to believe in the existence of God or life after death. Only a supernatural and terrifying incident like the Venetian one can make him think about reality.

There vendetta is at the center of the first film, passion second, while wedding ring is the thematic core of this new chapter. The most conceptually interesting option for such a mysterious figure as Poirot. Unfortunately, however, the film doesn’t go far enough and we only see the tip of the iceberg.

Crime or horror?

From Murder in Venice we reward intention. After two previous failures, it was right to try to change something. Mixing thriller and horror could have been a better solution, it’s a shame that this is the end result. a film that doesn’t stand out in terms of either investigation or horror.

Sometimes a gothic movie idea works the tone is great for staging a crime. But he is unable to convey the slightest emotion. Without a movie theater sound system, the visualization of the scariest scenes, if we want to define them that way, would probably be nil. The horror side is felt more from a stylistic point of view than in an attempt to scare the viewer. So yes, we are talking about a detective story that is very different from the usual and at some points gives in to the dark and creepy atmosphere of a haunted house, but don’t go to the theater with the intention of watching a horror film.

The rest remains detective in every way. Which, however, ends with a disarming platitude, both regarding the final decision, which, with the exception of some details, is not particularly unpredictable, and, above all, regarding the timing. Just when the story seems to be getting more interesting and the pace picks up, here is Poirot’s usual explanation, which feels liberating for both the detective and the viewer.

What are you saving? Murder in Venice?

The technical aspects are the most striking. Nothing sensational, but Kenneth Branagh’s director seems more inspired than usual, with some interesting ideas. This applies to a lesser extent to photography, which focuses primarily on appearance, but is still noticeable with this type of film.

At least, Murder in Venice this is a step forward Murder on the Nile from all points of view. First of all, the decision to rely less on CGI and give the film a very specific aesthetic. The set design is well thought out, ranging from a Venetian setting to a haunted palace.

As for the supporting cast, Branagh has less star power but some well-chosen names. First of all, an Oscar-winning actress. Michelle Yeoh (Everything everywhere and at once), but also Camille Cottin, Riccardo Scamarcio, Kelly Reilly AND Tina Fey. Branagh also wanted to include the main characters in his book. Belfast, Jamie Dornan and Jude Hill. The two again play father and son, and are also the only characters with any psychological depth.

However, there is no shortage of forcing even in the control and relationships between the characters. Lots of narrative decisions that leave some doubt. Overall, therefore, there are too many defects that it becomes difficult to turn a blind eye to.

However, we can bet that Murder in Venice will collect a variety of viewer feedback. A film that still manages to entertain is perfect for preparing for your next Halloween. Murder in Venice it is completely unrelated to the other chapters of the saga, so it remains noticeable even without watching the two previous films. I’m waiting to see if Branagh will have another opportunity to adapt Poirot’s stories to the big screen.


Kenneth Branagh experiments with the horror genre in his third big-screen Hercule Poirot adventure. The result is Murder in Venice, a film that can’t be beat in either its detective or horror aspects. Half successful attempt. The original idea and aesthetics are good, but there are too many flaws and coercions that spoil the film. It’s still a clear step up from Murder on the Nile.

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