David at the movies: Agatha Christie sent me to sleep



Early in the first 1950s season of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap (destined, as we know, to become a theatrical Methuselah), an American producer moves in with a plan to make it into a motion picture. His early murder is an obstacle to the project – though it doesn’t stop him narrating this “film of the film that wasn’t”. Hilarious plot twist? Not for me.

Sad to say, I suffered a sense-of-humour outage during this movie. The rest of the (sparse) audience laughed out loud; I almost never did. It’s beautifully shot: interiors and exteriors have the lushness that we’ve come to expect from Poirot adaptations. Costumes were divine. Performances were spot-on for the period, although Saoirse Ronan’s monotonous policewoman grated with me. The screenplay was not kind to Ronan, whereas Adrian Brody was gifted the (Sunset Boulevard-inspired?) role of the murdered narrator and played it with juicy relish. Shirley Henderson’s cameo as Agatha Christie was a joy, and I welcomed the (Bridgerton-influenced?) casting of her husband.

There’s a lot to like about this movie, but the pace is leaden and so, for me, is most of the humour. I dozed off a couple of times. I’m as big a fan of Agatha Christie movies as anybody else, but not this one. Sorry.

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