With the trailer of Death On The Nile being released yesterday, Agatha Christie fans all over the world are now counting days for the film to hit the theatres. In a genre dominated by the likes of Doyle and Poe, Agatha Christie is a woman who managed to carve a significant space for herself within the world of detective-fiction. Regularly referred to as the ‘Queen of Crime’, Christie’s style of writing has spawned decades of research and generations of fan-following. While some of her works may seem like relics from an era defined by manners and mansions, no one can deny that her portrayal of female characters was years ahead of its time. And absolutely no other novel can fit as a better example while talking about Christie’s strong female characters, than one of her most popular work: Death On The Nile.

The Book And Its Female Characters

As one can gather from the name of the novel itself, the mystery takes place on the Nile, although certain parts of it are situated in England. But without talking further about the plot, lest a spoiler slips out by mistake, let’s move on to talk about the range of female characters the story represents. Christie’s women have always proved to be a match for men intellectually, but here they are also presented as flawed, and potentially murderous (one cannot forget that they all, after all, become suspects to a murder). There is a character named Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle who starts the book as this really independent woman. She’s also very astute, for example, she reads through all documents before she signs, not really depending on her husband to do so. On the other hand, is Linnet’s ex-bestfriend Jaqueline de Bellefort, who is equally smart and calculative as any of her male counterparts.

Another character who catches the attention is someone named Cornelia Robson. Her story-arc of rejecting a rich-yet-insolent man, turns over the stereotypical bad-boy-good-girl narrative. The MPDG (Manic Pixie Dream Girl) trope is cleverly avoided, with so-called ‘good girl’ finally being given the agency to say no to a certain form of toxic masculinity. There’s also Salome Otterbourne, a woman who is shown to be cleverer and faster than Poirot himself. She is the one who figures out the answer to the whodunnit, long before the detective can. Then we have a range of characters like the delightful and gracious Rosalie Otterbourne on one hand, and the villainous victim Louise Bourget on the other. And even though the book is a Hercule Poirot mystery, and he is hands-down my favourite detective, it was always the women who stole the show, no matter how many times I re-read the novel.

Also Read: Agatha Christie’s Crime de la Crime: Why The Mystery Queen Is Timeless

The Film-Trailer And Its Female Character

For a fan who has adored the way Christie represented her women in the novel, imagine being showered with a cast as stellar as this adaption of the Death On The Nile promises! The female stars include Wonder Woman Gal Gadot (Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle), Black Panther’s Letitia Wright (Rosalie Otterbourne), Sex Education’s Emma Mackey (Jaqueline de Bellefort), Game of Thrones alum Rose Leslie (Louise Bourget), and the Oscar nominees Jennifer Saunders (Marie Van Schuyler) and Annette Bening (Euphemia). The film also stars Armie Hammer, Russell Brand, Dawn French and Tom Bateman in pivotal roles. Bollywood actor Ali Faizal also features in the role of an important character in the film. Not forgetting that we’d get to see the return of the crowd-favourite Kenneth Branagh as our beloved Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Written by Michael Green, Death On The Nile is slated for a very hopeful October 23 release.

Also Read: Agatha Christie: The Mysterious Life of the Mystery Queen

The cinematography, providing glimpses of several shots of the river Nile and the landscape of Egypt, looks breathtaking. The trailer introduces us to all the major characters and builds up the suspense in a fascinating manner. The acting pulls you in, not that anything less was expected from such a star-studded cast. The glamorous steamboat on which the mystery takes place reminds one of the larger-than-life Orient Express from the previous 2017 adaptation of Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express. And why would it not: after all, both the films have the same director, namely, Kenneth Branagh himself. What remains to be seen is whether this film can captivate the audience in the same way as Murder On The Orient Express did.

Dyuti Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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