Review: Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Big Four
29th October 2013
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★★★☆☆In the Summer, ITV started airing this final series of Poirot films with the story Elephants Can Remember. I wasn’t very impressed with the adaptation. There was a noticeable drop in production values (including some dreadful green-screening) and the whole thing felt very cheap and televisual. Of course, this is television, not cinema, but up until recently many of the Poirot feature-length instalments would have passed for cinema features. We are now drawing nearer to the end, and on the menu is murder-mystery-cum-espionage-thriller The Big Four. The good news is, this episode is much better production-wise. It looks gorgeous, it’s handsomely produced, well-directed by Peter Lydon, and the whole thing feels a lot more “proper”, if you know what I mean. This is particularly notable in a snowy funeral scene at the start which may shock viewers expecting to begin this instalment with the famous Belgian detective alive and well. It’s a shame that the step-up in production values has come now and not earlier, as this story is actually a lot weaker than that of Elephants Can Remember. It’s convoluted and has an outrageous and very obvious twist. To be honest, the story is borderline nonsense. Agatha Christie quite often gets a bit silly, but part of her genius is that she makes the ridiculous seem plausible. This really isn’t plausible.
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