The ABC Murders: Hercule and the new Inspector
April 22, 2019 8:37 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Rupert Grint was the surprise star, here. Malkovich being stilted and precise suits the character of Poirot, but put him together with Crome, they warm up to each other in an organic and compelling way, and it's on Grint's natural talent as a supporting actor. I would watch a series based on Poirot and Crome discussing the weather, so good.
posted by Slap*Happy (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Agree on Grint- but, I had to stop watching this. I just decided to renew my eternal love of David Suchet, and wrote it off. I could not handle Malkovich drooping all over this, and his accent was problematic for me. (Sorry, those who were fans!) #NotMyPoirot
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 7:34 AM on April 23, 2019 [3 favorites]

Malkovich was a big part of the problem here. He seemed to be looking for things to make his Poirot different from his predecessors, and he hit on complete humorlessness and fanatical devotion to Catholicism. A for Effort, but Poirot is intrinsically funny — he occasionally is the object of humor but he also has a sense of humor of his own — and although we may assume he's Catholic, the books don't make a big deal out of it. And whereas it's perhaps true that the police of that time would have been likely to mistreat a foreigner (particularly one who was, according to this version, something of a fake) , this is also contrary to the spirit of the books, which, after all, were not exactly intended to be muck-raking.

But perhaps we shouldn't blame Malkovich too much. This is the third adaptation of Christie's works by Sarah Phelps, and in all three she has tried to make up for the familiarity of the pieces by making them dark, claustrophobic and full of neurotic and unpleasant characters. I watched all three to the end, and I have to say that not only did it not work, but it was contrary to the spirit of the books. I would trade all three for a single Suchet, Ustinov or Finney.
posted by ubiquity at 11:18 AM on April 23, 2019 [3 favorites]

I find the trend for over-complicated Poirot to be unfortunate, and while I kind of liked And Then There Were None, this felt a bit more Threepenny Opera meets Brexit than a Christie. Compared to the corrupt English lords, family prostitution, golddiggers, troubled veterans, and lechers, Poirot's mild sin of fibbing about his occupation comes off as rather tame.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 7:21 PM on April 27, 2019

It is a different version of Poirot, not authentic to Christie. I disliked it at first, but came away liking it at the end. The Malkovich's solemn Poirot makes more sense after the surprise at the end. I found it to be a compliment the brilliance of Agatha Christie.
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:03 AM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

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