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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Something's Fishy.

Death on the Nile on IMDb

Plot Overview

boy misses the draft

horn playingHercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) had the makings of a farmer but was conscripted for the Great War and with his company in 1914, found him­self assaulting the Yser Bridge, Belgium. His farmer's eye for the weather enabled him to advise Captain Rens (Orlando Seale) how to win it in a gas attack, but he lacked the military know-how to fore­see the bridge would be mined. Scratch one captain and wound one advisor. Poirot's fiancée-nurse Katherine (Susannah Fielding) visited him in the field hospital and with a farmer's wife's intuition, encouraged him to cultivate a mustache to cover the scar. She didn't under­stand the dangers or war, either, and her train was shelled on the way home. Scratch one nurse and wound one dough­boy's heart. Poirot has by 1937 become a world-renowned detective while nursing his tragedies in jazz joints.

kite above pyramidWorld-famous artist Euphemia Bouc (Annette Bening) has (secretly) retained Poirot to investigate a colored girl named Rosalie Otter­bourne (Letitia Wright) whom her bohemian son—and Poirot's long­time friend—Bouc (Tom Bateman) has the hots for, but he lacks his mother's approval. Poirot's inquires found the girl honest, capable, and presentable (“She's a find”) as would recommend her as a field hand, say, but society frowns on mixed liaisons. It's another Poirot tragedy in the making. On holiday he discovers Bouc flying a box kite from an Egyptian pyramid, as typical of him to stand convention on its head. One needs a level pitch for maneuvering to guide the thing, not a pyramid's treacherous slope to throw him off. And while these massive structures are firmly rooted in solid ground to survive the centuries, a flimsy kite is tied down with but a string and held aloft at the mercy of a fickle wind. Miscegenation, I would say, is a poor bet irrespective of Poirot's investigation.

fishesBouc gets Poirot invited to a high society wedding party there in the land of the pharaohs. Heiress Linnet Ridge­way (Gal Gadot) has married her heart­throb Simon Doyle (Armie Hammer) after first giving him a job at the behest of her once friend Jacqueline de Belle­fort (Emma Mackey) who'd then been engaged to him herself. Jackie has not given up, though, but is haunting the course of their honey­moon. In desperation they charter a boat down the Nile, loaded to the gills with the beautiful people of questionable allegiances—money introduces uncertainty, to say nothing of love. As the bodies slowly accumulate, we wonder if this isn't going to be another Poirot tragedy.

Ideology

He has his work cut out for him, and so do we if we try to second guess his investigations. It's as wise King Solomon wrote, (Prov. 30:18-19) “There be three things which are too wonder­ful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.” The first three lead up to the last. First, “The way of an eagle in the air” corresponds to change­able winds holding the kite aloft and at the commencement of the gas attack.

Then there's “the way of a serpent upon a rock.” That would be the sudden appearance of a preter­naturally fast cobra at the entrance of the souk, which Poirot nailed with his walking stick like a good farmer taking care of vermin.

Then there's “the way of a ship in the midst of the sea,” which would correspond to the S.S. Karanak, the Queen of the Nile, turning up a body on her paddle wheel, which hadn't cleared the draft.

Lastly and most importantly is “the way of a man with a maid.” What was Bouc thinking? He's a man of leisure who's fallen for a maiden of color. Fine, but it's going to take a lot of continuing work to make it work out. Just like that kite, it's not a pyramid where the builders set it and forget it. But he has come up with a clever scheme to end all their problems in one fell swoop. Right!

In the story of Moses, among his storied exploits, he picks up a trophy wife of sorts.

(Jasher 73:28–37)
28 And Balaam the magician, when he saw that the city was taken, he opened the gate and he and his two sons and eight brothers fled and returned to Egypt to Pharaoh king of Egypt.
29 They are the sorcerers and magicians who are mentioned in the book of the law, standing against Moses when the Lord brought the plagues upon Egypt.
30 So Moses took the city by his wisdom, and the children of Cush placed him on the throne instead of Kikianus king of Cush.
31 And they placed the royal crown upon his head, and they gave him for a wife Adoniah the Cushite queen, wife of Kikianus.
32 And Moses feared the Lord God of his fathers, so that he came not to her, nor did he turn his eyes to her.
33 For Moses remembered how Abraham had made his servant Eliezer swear, saying unto him, Thou shalt not take a woman from the daughters of Canaan for my son Isaac.
34 Also what Isaac did when Jacob had fled from his brother, when he commanded him, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan, nor make alliance with any of the children of Ham.
35 For the Lord our God gave Ham the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto their seed after them for slaves, forever.
36 Therefore Moses turned not his heart nor his eyes to the wife of Kikianus all the days that he reigned over Cush.
37 And Moses feared the Lord his God all his life, and Moses walked before the Lord in truth, with all his heart and soul, he turned not from the right way all the days of his life; he declined not from the way either to the right or to the left, in which Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had walked.

               NUMBERS: CHAPTER 12

  1. And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
  2. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
  3. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
  4. And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
  5. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
  6. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
  7. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
  8. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
  9. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
  10. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
  11. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
  12. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb.
  13. And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.
  14. And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.
  15. And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
  16. And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.

(Jasher 83:31–32) “And whilst the children of Israel were in Hazeroth, the anger of the Lord was kindled against Miriam on account of Moses, and she became leprous, white as snow. And she was confined without the camp for seven days, until she had been received again after her leprosy.”

The ancient name of Ethiopia was Cush for the Cushites who settled there. Cush was the eldest son of Ham, see Gen. 10:6, Cush being Hebrew for black. Evidently, Miriam and Aaron were espousing received lore, (Jasher 73:35) “For the Lord our God gave Ham the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto their seed after them for slaves, forever.” Cushites were supposed to be servants of the Semites, so why did Moses marry the help? God's response was that Moses is a higher order prophet than was righteous Noah whom Miriam and Aaron were speaking for, and he restrained him­self though married.

If it's in the Bible that mixed marriage, black & white, causes continuing trouble, how did Bouc think he'd be spared? In Egypt no less, Ethiopia's neighbor. It's like an excerpt from a Don Winslow novel: “We work with the güeros and we fight with the norteños, but we all hate the blacks. Even the guards hate the blacks. It's todo el mundo against the mayates.” (178) If the whole world is against the blacks, where they gonna go?

Production Values

” (2022) was directed by Kenneth Branagh. Its screenplay was written by Michael Green, based on the novel, Death On the Nile by Agatha Christie. It stars Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, and Armie Hammer. The acting in it was superb. They all worked well together, and some­times it was hard to tell the leads from the support for the way they all stood out. Kenneth Branagh was great as a troubled but gifted detective.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for violence, some bloody images, and sexual material. It was filmed on location at Aswan, Egypt. It has a running time of 2 hours & 7 minutes. It was beautifully filmed on 65 MM stock making wide-screen viewing worth­while. The sets and costume designs were excellent. The score jumped around, but the jazz was soulful.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

After a while it seemed like an Agatha Christie plot gone awry, the way it kept accumu­lating sub­plots waiting to be resolved at the end. Maybe lady mystery lovers will like it, but I kept thinking, Give me a break. At least there was the jazz to groove to. As for a who­dun­nit, a lot of people did a lot of different things, enough to drive a gumshoe to drink.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Well, at least you can't see the strings. Video Occasion: Better than watching TV. Suspense: Several moments of suspense. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Print. Software.

The Book of Jasher. Translated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print.

Winslow, Don. The Border. Copyright © 2019 by Samburu, Inc. New York: Harper­Collins Pub., first edition. Print.