You can enjoy holidays in Egypt from home with Death on the Nile!
One of the biggest draws of movies like the classic Bond films, or the opulent Agatha Christie epics, is the chance for audiences to enjoy a taste of the life of the rich and famous, without having to be either.
In Bond flicks, you can enjoy the thrill of casino games at Casino Royale, without forking out for a tuxedo. It’s the same principle behind the success of a live casino online, giving you all the thrills without any of the bills for cocktails or luxury limousines.
Kenneth Branagh understands this principle well and has applied the idea to his latest period drama, Death on the Nile. “We think our audience vicariously lives the lives of the passengers on the train (The Orient Express) and now in the boat,” he explained to Total Film magazine. “So we tried to create a sensory experience of being on a luxury holiday.”
Not exactly the Nile
Expecting a luxury Egyptian holiday, head of the all-star cast, Armie Hammer was disappointed to find himself at Longcross Studios in Surrey for the bulk of the shoot. Branagh and his team recreated the infamous Nile steamer from scratch – 236 feet long by 48 feet wide and 42 feet tall.
Ironically, it was moved about using the same rails that had previously carried the Orient Express. The 225-tonne boat was then floated in an enormous water tank ready for filming. All that was missing was the Egyptian sunshine.
Despite the less than exotic location, the star-studded cast was hardly short of the finer things in life. Every detail of the interior was painstakingly recreated to generate Branagh’s ‘sensory experience’.
What’s more, just like his previous Poirot picture, Murder on the Orient Express, with too many big names involved for anyone to get special star treatment, it became like a holiday for everyone involved. This has created chemistry between actors, making the characters and the situation they find themselves in, very believable, and relatable.
Very rich, very famous
If you are going to vicariously live the lives of anyone on screen, then this is the cast to do it with. Matching his 2017 Poirot roll-call, which included Johnny Depp, Olivia Coleman, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Dame Judi Dench, Branagh has put together another remarkable ensemble.
Led by Armie Hammer and ‘Wonder Woman’, Gal Gadot, the complement of passengers onboard includes Annette Bening, Letitia Wright, and Russell Brand, as well as comedy legends Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. It also marks a major step forward for Sex Education star, Emma Mackey, who played Maeve in the surprise Netflix hit.
Whether we’re off to the virtual casino on our PC or being transported back to a bygone era on the silver screen, we all need a little escapism now and then. In Death on the Nile, Branagh delivers yet another masterpiece in meticulous world-building, sweeping us back to the style and sophistication of 1936 society, amid the mysteries of Egypt and Agatha Christie. Due for release on 18th December, this could just be the perfect winter break.