I'm still (slowly) quilting away on the final border of the quilt in the frame. I know I have one full side done, but I'm not sure if it's a "short" side or a "long" side. (I HOPE it's one of the "long" sides).
This weekend, I decided to pop in one of the Poirot dvds to have something to watch while I quilted. I chose "Murder on the Orient Express," which I THOUGHT I had seen when it was on PBS...but either I didn't see all of it or I had blocked parts of it out of my brain.
Of the Suchet Poirots, this is the "darkest" (in a psychological sense). At least of the ones I've seen. Not to be TOO spoilerish (but is there anyone who's into mysteries who HASN'T read/seen "Orient Express"?), Poirot is faced with an ethical dilemma at the end...which direction he takes is far clearer in the book. (In the Suchet version, we see him delivering his "verdict" to the Yugoslav police, but the focus is on the other passengers of the train car, and we do not hear what Poirot has actually chosen to report to them.
One issue that this story raises - and it seemed to be made much more urgent in the production, rather than in the book (then again, it was probably 10 years ago I read "Murder on the Orient Express") - is it ever all right for an individual or individuals to take justice into their own hands, if they feel justice has been denied because of a technicality or an additional injustice? (Or maybe I felt it more now, being 10 years older than I was when I read the book...)
It's a very hard question.
I noticed several other things about this production: first, this is the only one I've seen with Suchet that had Poirot YELLING and agitated with the suspects. Normally, Suchet plays Poirot as rather calm...but here, he lost it (and understandably so, given what was going on in the plot at that point).
(I think I've seen three different versions of this story in movie/television productions: the Albert Finney version, the Alfred Molina version (which I really did not like: they reset it to "modern day," which I think took away a lot of the charm...also, I think this was the one where the person who played Poirot made him kind of screechy and scream-y and I did not like that. And then this version).
I also noticed how claustrophobic the people who did the filming made the train feel. (Well, a fancy Pullman car buried in a snowdrift would probably be claustrophobic, much more so if there had been a murder aboard...)
And finally, Poirot's religion (he is, as one might expect, Catholic...though there is a large group of Protestant Belgians (the Walloons)) is played up far more than I ever remember from the books (Was it even mentioned in the books?) He's shown carrying a rosary, praying...and at the end (and I thought this was a rather effective addition), after he delivered his "verdict" to the Yugoslav police, he walks slowly away, pulls the rosary out of his pocket, and begins "telling" the beads (or at least, it looks like he is counting them off). Asking for forgiveness for what he's just done? Feeling the need to do penance?
(There's another episode...one of the ones set in the Middle East...where he's shown with a rosary).
I know some fans apparently disliked this version, the way things were portrayed (and the BBC/Mystery! productions ALWAYS change things...characters are left out, nationalities of characters are changed...) but I thought it was interesting.
I also watched a bit of the feature that was included on the disk, showing Suchet's own travel on the Orient Express as research. It's a bit startling at first to hear his "natural" voice (I know him almost exclusively from his work as Poirot) - his natural speaking voice is deeper (and of course, British). But it's a pleasant voice to listen to.