Death on the Nile (2022)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot’s vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple’s idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short. Set against an epic landscape of sweeping Egyptian desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids, this tale of unbridled passion and incapacitating jealousy features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travelers, and enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement. (Courtesy of 20th Century Studios)

‘Death on the Nile’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Death on the Nile (2022)During World War I, a young Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) develops a strategy to advance his Belgian infantry company towards enemy forces. However, the plan is ultimately unsuccessful as a booby trap kills and injures many of the men in Poirot’s company. Poirot himself suffers mutilating scars to his face. His nurse Katherine (Susannah Fielding), whom is also his lover, suggests that Poirot grow a mustache to hide his scars. Katherine is ultimately killed during World War I.

Years later, during 1937, a mustache wearing Poirot watches a performance by renowned blues singer Salome Otterbourne (Sophie Okonedo) in a club in London. Poirot notices that Jacqueline “Jackie” de Bellefort (Emma Mackey) is also present in the club along with her fiancé Simon Doyle (Armie Hammer) and Jackie’s childhood friend and heiress Linnet “Linny” Ridgeway (Gal Gadot). After meeting Simon, Linny agrees to hire him as her land agent.

Six weeks later, Poirot encounters his friend Bouc (Tom Bateman) and Bouc’s artist mother, Euphemia (Annette Bening) in Egypt. Bouc invites his detective friend to join him and his mother at the hotel to celebrate the wedding of Linny and Simon who have become married after an extremely short courtship. Linny and Simon are in Egypt for a honeymoon boat trip down the Nile River. Accompanying them on the trip are Linny’s maid Louise Bourget (Rose Leslie), Salome, Salome’s niece and Linny’s school friend Rosalie “Rosie” Otterbourne (Letitia Wright), Linny’s godmother Marie Van Schuyler (Jennifer Saunders), Van Schuyler’s nurse Mrs. Bowers (Dawn French), Linny’s financial manager and cousin Andrew Katchadourian (Ali Fazal), and Linny’s former fiancé Dr. Linus Windlesham (Russell Brand).

Poirot is invited on the trip, and Linny takes the opportunity to ask Poirot for protection from Jackie who has become obsessed with the married couple since the end of her engagement with Simon. Linny informs Poirot that Jackie has stalked the couple to Egypt. Poirot attempts to stop Jackie from following the couple by talking to her, but Jackie remains determined and dangerous, as Jackie shows Poirot that she has a gun.

Linny and Simon seek to escape the inevitable confrontation with Jackie by beginning their cruise on the S.S. Karnak. Despite the safety of the boat, Linny confesses her distrust of her other guests on the ship to Poirot. The boat stops at Abu Simbel for some site seeing. At the stop, Bouc reveals that he is dating Rosalie although the relationship does not meet his mother’s approval. At the same time, Poirot finds himself attracted to Salome. While exploring, Linny and Simon are nearly crushed by a boulder that either falls or is pushed off a stone column. After the accident, the guests return to the ship only to discover that Jackie has appeared on the ship.

Later that evening, Poirot converses with Jackie while drinking champagne. Poirot imbibes too much and confesses to Jackie that he renounced romance after his beloved Katherine was killed by a mortar explosion during the war. Linny retires for the evening and goes to bed. Simon confronts his former fiancé as to her presence on the boat and Jackie responds by shooting him in the leg. Jackie attempts to shoot herself, but Rosalie and Bouc intervene to stop her. The pair take Jackie to Mrs. Bowers while Dr. Windlesham treats Simon’s leg wound. The next morning, Louise discovers that Linny has been killed by a gun shot to the head. Additionally, Linny’s extremely valuable necklace is missing. Further, Van Schuyler’s scarf has disappeared.

The crime is murder. The murderer is one of you. I have investigated many crimes, but this has altered the shape of my soul. I am detective Hercule Poirot, and I will deliver your killer. Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh)

Once again, Poirot spearheads the investigation. This time he is assisted by Simon and Bouc. They take turns interrogating each of the guests, whom each appear to have a grudge against Linny and would benefit from her death. Poirot discovers the Louise’s engagement was ended by Linny, who distrusted Louise’s former fiancé. Poirot uncovers embezzlement by Katchadourian from Linny. Dr. Windlesham was Linny’s prior fiancé before she left him for Simon. Poirot learns that Mrs. Bowers’ formerly wealthy family was ruined by Linny’s father during the Great Depression. The detective also learns that Mrs. Bowers and Van Schuyler are lovers, and that Van Schuyler is a beneficiary in Linny’s will. Poirot learns that Salome and Rosalie were targets of racist remarks made by Linny years prior. Finally, after Euphemia finds Linny’s necklace in her belongings, Poirot suspects that she resented Linny for introducing her son to Rosalie. Jackie is the only person who could not have shot Linny as she was monitored all night by Mrs. Bowers.

The next day, Jackie’s gun is dredged from the Nile, found wrapped in Van Schuyler’s missing scarf and a bloody handkerchief. Poirot reveals to the passengers that he was hired by Euphemia to investigate Rosalie, whom he concludes is worthy of Bouc’s affections. Rosalie is angered by Euphemia and Poirot’s actions and storms off. However, she discovers Louise’s body is short ways away with the maid’s throat slit. A large amount of money is found on the body. Poirot concludes that Louise knew the identity of the killer and blackmailed that person for her silence. Poirot discovers a possible clue when he observes a possible witness’ outline in the blood splatter from Louise’s murder.

Poirot interrogates his friend Bouc with Simon. Poirot concludes that Bouc found Linny dead and stole her expensive necklace to gain financial freedom from his mother. However, Bouc panicked and placed the necklace into Euphemia’s belongings to throw off Poirot. Poirot accuses Bouc of being present during Louise’s murder, which Bouc acknowledges. However, before he can reveal the identity of the killer, Bouc is shot through the throat and dies. Poirot pursues the killer but only finds the abandoned gun.

With the situation turning deadlier by the moment, Poirot locks the surviving guests in the boat’s saloon. Poirot then reveals that Simon killed Linny, with Jackie acting as his accomplice and the mastermind behind the plot. Poirot reveals that the pair are still lovers and orchestrated Simon’s romance and marriage to Linny to inherit her wealth. Poirot concludes that Simon drugged Poirot’s champagne to distract him. He also reveals that Jackie only pretended to shot Simon and actually only fired a black. Simon then faked his injury with paint stolen from Euphemia. Poirot states that while Bouc and Rosalie were distracted by Jackie, Simon ran in and killed Linny before returning to the saloon. Once there, Simon shot his own leg with the gun and muffled the shot with Van Schuyler’s scarf. Poirot then reveals that Jackie killed Louise using Dr. Windlesham’s scalpel and Bouc using Katchadourian’s gun. Poirot emphasizes his point by revealing the handkerchief that was recovered with the gun from the river. Poirot points out that blood would have faded to brown in the water, but the stains on the handkerchief were the pale pink of faded paint. Confronted with their guilt, Jackie embraces her lover Simon and shoots him through his back, killing them both with one shot to the shock of everyone else on board.

A short time later, the surviving guests disembark. Poirot fails to voice his feelings and attraction to Salome before the singer leaves. The film then jumps forward six months and Poirot visits the club where Salome is rehearsing. A clean-shaven Poirot sits alone and watches the rehearsal with pleasure. A hint of renewed romance possibly in the air.

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Our Rating

20th Century Studios released Death on the Nile February 11, 2022. Kenneth Branagh directed the film starring Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, and Kenneth Branagh.

User Rating: 3.04 ( 4 votes)
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