Friday, July 1, 2022

Kenneth Branagh Revitalizes ‘Death on the Nile’ Featuring Sophie Okonedo & Letitia Wright | VIDEO

(L-R) Letitia Wright as Rosalie, and Sophie Okonedo as Salome Otterbourne.© 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

*Kenneth Branagh always has a way of bringing new meaning to the projects he takes on. Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile,” directed by Branagh is no exception. It’s infused with lush, opulent images of Egypt. Viewers will be swept away by the epic landscape of sweeping desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids.

However, what is most notable about Branagh’s iteration, as with all his undertakings, is its diversity. Even in “Belfast,” written and directed by Branagh, there is a Black soldier. Some MCU fans lost their minds when Branagh cast Idris Elba as Heimdall, the Norse deity in “Thor.”

Sophie Okonedo (“Hotel Rwanda,” “The Secret Life of Bees”) is cast as Salome Otterbourne, the sultry and magnetic American singer hired to perform at the Egyptian wedding of Linnet Ridgeway (Gal Gadot). Not to mention, sparks fly between Hercule Poirot (Branagh) and Salome.

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Bridal party in Twentieth Century Studios’ “Death on the Nile”  Photo by Rob Youngson. © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Letitia Wright (“Sing 2,” “Black Panther”) portrays the well-educated, world traveler, Rosalie. Branagh gave Wright a book about the Harlem Renaissance, the intellectual and cultural world Rosalie comes from, to help inform Wright’s portrayal. Wright said the book “captured that time and that period of African American artists being celebrated in literature, art, culture, fashion, traveling to Europe and having massive success there also.”

Gadot’s lackluster performance in the role of Linnet, did not overshadow the shady, superficial bride. And Armie Hammer was the perfect fit for the slimy groom, Simon Doyle. Belgian sleuth Poirot’s involvement came about during his Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer. Shock waves engulfed passengers when a murder took place on the ship, and a picture-perfect couple’s idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short.

The film’s engaging supporting characters and fine production is worth the ride. Produced by Ridley Scott, “Death on the Nile” is exclusively in theaters. Twitter: @thefilmstrip

Marie Moore
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.




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