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10 October 2011 @ 08:18 pm
Poirot: After the Funeral  
So here I am with more reviews. There's nothing quite like a cozy British mystery story to cheer one up after two weeks of STRESS.

I can't believe I haven't ever reviewed any episodes of this wonderful series starring David Suchet as Agatha Christie's famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. Time to remedy that.

This particular episode featured Geraldine James, Lucy Punch, and Michael Fassbender to name a few familiar names.

The story opens with Richard Abernethie's funeral. A man of great wealth, his death was sudden though not exactly unexpected given his recent decline in health. His remaining family members gather for the reading of his will where most spitefully complain that it will be George, Richard's favorite nephew who will inherit the bulk of the estate. However, to everyone's amazement, the estate is to be divided equally amongst them all BUT George, who is effectively disinherited. As the dust is settling from that shocker, Richard's younger sister, Cora, states rather tactlessly that Richard was most likely murdered. No one pays this much mind as Cora was always considered a bit batty. But then Cora is found brutally murdered in her cottage the very next day. Now suspicious, the family solicitor, Enwhistle, calls in Hercule Poirot to investigate.

The story features an interesting cast of characters, all with various hidden motives and agendas, some of which are completely unrelated to the two deaths in question. It's up to Poirot to put the pieces in their rightful order.

The story takes place during a time when the class system was at its full strength in England and I greatly enjoyed how the show showed the callousness of the wealthy Abernethie family toward the servant class. Not out of spite or maliciousness, but out of sheer blindness which one might argue is so much worse. It's in this climate that Poirot so artfully questions everyone and observes everything. David Suchet has been playing Poirot since the late 80's and by this point he has the detective's character down to perfection. While Poirot himself is an arrogant man in his own right, he is always so clear eyed when it comes to human nature that he never patronizes nor does he dismiss anyone. He so wonderfully treats everyone at the level they deserve based on their own personal action rather than their status. By the time the killer is revealed, you understand exactly what the motive was and it's never anything as straightforward as it might seem. I wish I could say I was clever enough to figure it all out but as always, Agatha Christie fooled me. I was happy to note that I did figure out why George Abernethie was disinherited but that wasn't even in the original Christie novel so it's not like I even beat her there.

All in all, an enjoyable mystery with a sympathetic conclusion.
katarzi on October 11th, 2011 02:13 am (UTC)
Aw man I have loved this series since I was a kid, my whole family would watch it together. (': I don't remember watching this one, I should probably locate some of the ones I don't remember...especially because Fassy. Fassy.

Random but I love Suchet's more recent version of Orient Express. It's so chilling and the cinematography is gorgeous. I know some of the newer ones aren't as popular - return of Poirot actually being Catholic, and apparently some episodes allude to possible homosexuality? Which even I've never picked up on, at least beyond the "does he have any friends other than Hastings (and what does Hastings do anyway)" angle, which...is simple haha.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 11th, 2011 04:28 am (UTC)
Random but I love Suchet's more recent version of Orient Express. It's so chilling and the cinematography is gorgeous.

It was a beautifully shot episode. I think most people are not liking the later episodes because they've all taken on a rather dark tone but I feel like that's the series working its way up to the adaptation of Curtain.
kensiegkensieg on October 11th, 2011 03:06 am (UTC)
I listen to the audiobooks performed by Hugh Fraser.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 11th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
Ah, Hugh Fraser. I somehow hope he'll return as Hastings for the last series.
The Writer They Call Tay: Misc: fangirl (enchanted)awanderingbard on October 11th, 2011 12:09 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen this one yet, but I have all the Poirots and Marples on my Ziplist. I love both the series, though I miss Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple. Julia McKenzie is very good, but she doesn't look like a little old lady the same way Geraldine did. And David Suchet is, of course, wonderful because he is Poirot.

There's so many ones I want to see again, because they had people in them that I've since come to love but didn't know at the time. Like, I know I saw Cumberbatch's episode, but I can't remember him in it. They're all so chock full of British actory goodness.

formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 13th, 2011 02:20 am (UTC)
I adored Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple. I was gutted when she left. She had so much spark in her portrayal of Miss Marple that seemed to go against the canon but worked so so well.

I recently re-watched the episode with Cumberbatch and yes, I did smirk a bit that his character was just so not of Sherlock's level of deductive abilities and relied on Marple to make the necessary connections.

They're all so chock full of British actory goodness.

It's a treasure trove!

Toward Zero and The Moving Finger remain two of my favorite Marple episodes.
The Writer They Call Tay: Merlin: Thumbs up!awanderingbard on October 13th, 2011 11:49 am (UTC)
The only thing I remember about Cumberbatch's episode is that it had a disturbing solution and that we watched it at the cottage on the tiny tv in the living room.

Toward Zero and The Moving Finger are my favourites too. The Moving Finger has my favourite couple in it. Christie always has the two young people get together at the end and Jerry and Megan are my favourites. I recently read Toward Zero, which isn't a Marple book originally, and find that even when I know the solutions (or vaugely remember them), I still am completely drawn in by the books.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 14th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC)
I love the chock full of awesome actors Toward Zero sports. I feel like everyone and their mother is in that particular one.
The Writer They Call Tay: BB: just a yoawanderingbard on October 15th, 2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
I love that it's sort of a right of passage as a British actor to be on Poirot or Marple. There aren't a lot of UK actors that I like who haven't been on one of the shows. Or sometimes both shows.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 15th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC)
I'm usually more surprised when I find out a UK actor I like hasn't been on either Marple or Poirot.