Comparison of the “Death on the Nile” Novel and Film
The novel titled Death on the Nile was written by the world-famous writer Agatha Christie in 1937.
Based on the book, the film Death on the Nile 2022 was directed by Kenneth Branagh and released worldwide in 2020.
This novel is a detective novel, and therefore it is impossible to change the period or any situation in the film compared to the book. The actions in the book and the film take place on board the steamer, the heroes of the novel and the film, and the murderer who committed the crime also remained unchanged.
Protagonist: The central character of Agatha Christie’s novels is the detective Hercule Poirot. Since this work is not the first by the writer, the image of the main character is not described in detail either in the movie or in the book. He is shown to be an intelligent, observant person of Belgian origin. In the book, it is much more interesting to observe the train of thought the interaction of Poirot with other characters of the novel than in the movies, since the author has worked out each dialogue in more detail and described in detail the way of thinking of the detective.
Antagonist: The antagonists of the work are a man Simon Doyle and his fiancée Jacqueline. A rich girl, Linnette Ridgeway, falls in love with a young man, and the couple kills her in order to take possession of her riches. The crime was carefully planned many months earlier. A couple of scammers in love wants a fast, secured life. Simon falls in love with his wealthy girlfriend Jackie and marries to inherit a vast fortune. During the murder, they created an alibi for each other, calculating their actions by seconds.
Other Characters: Secondary heroes also got enough time: the luxurious blues singer Salome Otterborn, or the convinced socialist Mary Van Schuyler – Linnette’s godmother, who hates the rich, gave away all her possessions, and constantly accuses a relative of exploiting the working class.
The book describes the characters more clearly, their worldview, and their appearance, while the audience can only guess from the film which occupies the most or less good position in society. In addition, by reading the original work, readers can more accurately familiarize themselves with the characters rather than watching an unsuccessful acting game.
The difference between the conflicts of the film and the book lies in the characters of the main characters. One of the main characters was played by Gal Gadot, whose character in the book was an arrogant wealthy heiress who got everything at the snap of her fingers and whom everyone hated. In the film, the actress could not show her heroine as she is according to the book, which already spoils the essence of the conflict and the perception of her character by the audience. The similarity undoubtedly lies in who the victim and the killer are, and the ending is naturally the same: detective Hercule Poirot solves this crime. Changes in the behavior and image of the characters have a strong negative impact on viewers’ perception of the picture, especially those who have read the book.
As a sub-plot, the story of Hercule Poirot’s mustache was used, with which the image of the chief detective is associated. This episode was not in the book, which gives the audience an understanding that it was added as the director’s idea. People perceived the detective’s mustache as his distinctive feature, a bright detail. However, the director of this film adaptation demonstrated his vision of the need to wear a Poirot mustache. He showed that the detective hid an ugly scar on his upper lip.
In the book and the film, the resolution to the conflict is the same, Poirot solves crimes and finds out who the killer is. In the movie, the scenes are accompanied by soundtracks, and the viewer sees the scenery and costumes. In the book, the reader sees a detailed description of the disclosure of the crime, with the help of which they can imagine what the actions look like.
Based on this film and the book, we can conclude that friends should be carefully chosen and not trusted by anyone except trusted people. In addition, the fault of the rich girl Linnet is also there, and it lies in the fact that main heroes cannot create a relationship and plan a marriage and a future family with your girlfriend’s fiancé. People were ruined by selfishness and the desire to live for their good, for which they can destroy other people’s relationships or even deprive a person of life.
In the matter of retaining the reader’s or viewer’s interest, it is necessary to proceed from preferences for movies or books. The book presents the actions in detail, but it is difficult for the reader to understand who the killer is and how events will develop. Even Poirot cannot immediately guess who the criminal is, which can confuse readers and allow them to think again: “…But it was not Ricchetti who killed Linnet Doyle.” (Christie 142). In the film, some viewers can quickly understand what the outcome of the film will be: “…have you ever loved so much, being so possessed by jealousy?” (Branagh 34:55).
There are a lot of beautiful scenery and costumes in the film, but it is still worth noting that scenes added by the director and screenwriters, such as the story about Poirot’s mustache, are not needed in this film. It is necessary to leave everything exactly as it is written in the book, and then the film will fully meet the criteria of the audience.
Branagh, Kenneth, director. Death on the Nile. Twentieth Century Fox, 2020.
Christie, Agatha. Death on the Nile: A Hercule Poirot Mystery. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2011.