Finally watched (okay, perhaps rewatched since I remember watching this a couple of years ago on television when I wasn't quite into the fandom then) the 2004 adaptation of Death on the Nile
with David Suchet and wow, did I need some taking used to Suchet's Poirot after watching all those 'old' episodes from the 1990s. The Poirot of the 1990s was a much more amusing character (which doesn't mean that Death on the Nile
was without its comedic moments...there really were some to my surprise) who sort of took more time in everything he did while the Poirot of the 2000s is a much more serious-minded chap who gets to the point really quickly. Perhaps it was the fast pace of the screenplay as well as the style adopted by the director which gave me this impression but after getting about ten to fifteen minutes into the episode, I quickly recognised the Poirot of old. His accent sounded a little different from one used in the earlier episodes at the beginning (somewhat more of Suchet's voice than Poirot's higher one) but then again, I soon got used to it.
Though the episode was without Hastings, thank God we got Colonel Race (James Fox) sort of filling in his shoes. Whenever I see James Fox though I'm always reminded of his Lord Darlington from The Remains of the Day
...oh well, never mind. The episode followed the novel very closely but the funniest moments came from Frances de la Tour (a.k.a. Madame Maxime from the Harry Potter films) basically trying to seduce Poirot at every possible opportunity. I was barely able to suppress my laughter when I saw her literally forcing him to dance with her, putting her face so close against his and then on another occasion, collapsing onto him so that he has no choice whatsoever than to help her up. What makes it more hilarious is that Poirot isn't the most handsomest or attractive of men but it's obvious that she's most interested in his fame and wealth. Poirot is of course clearly uncomfortable with her advances but is regardless a gentleman to the last. There was another amusing scene where she simply goes on and on with more racy and perverted ideas about why a murder has been committed (she writes romantic fiction, by the way) while Poirot and Race sit like statues behind a desk opposite her before the latter turns to Belgian with an expression which clearly reads: 'Please remind me again why we're listening to her?!'
On a more serious note, there was this touchingly sad moment when there is an exchange between one character and Poirot on the point of love and which highlights his extreme loneliness in life...Suchet was simply marvellous at this point.Poirot
: Love is not everything. Jacqueline de Bellefort
: Oh, but it is. It is. You must know that. Surely you understand.Poirot [becoming unusually quiet]
: It is terrible, mademoiselle. All that I have missed in life.
After this the camera pans out from above to show him alone on the deck of the boat, gazing sadly into the water (seen below).
Absolutely heartbreaking in a way when you think how brilliant he is in terms of his career and profession but dismally lacking in terms of personal life. No wonder he's becomes so animated when he sees Colonel Race (reminiscent of Poirot's reaction at seeing Hastings in The Mysterious Affair at Styles
but without the embracing and the kissing on cheeks) which is quite sweet. I won't give away the ending/solution but yeah, Death on the Nile
is much more of a romantic-themed episode than most of Christie's stories which interestingly focuses on one couple in particular rather than Poirot himself who is usually shown as the victor. I wasn't surprised at all when they used that popular 1930s song, 'Love is the Sweetest Thing' as a recurring soundtrack thing over the credits.
Yes, I'm seriously just a romantic at heart sometimes, methinks.