Murder on the CGI Express

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Nov 14, 2017 05:16
Last week I saw Sidney Lumet's "Murder on the Orient Express", and after a couple of days, I saw the 1978 version by John Guillermin. Both films were well done, with an excellent cast giving their best performances. It's hard to chose between Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer on one side, and Vanessa Redgrave, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset and Anthony Perkins on the other.

But there was something bugging me with the new version. It uses computer graphics to improve the scenery, as it has become the norm. Granted, it's done in a subtle and sober way, and most of the times you're fooled into thinking that the buildings, trees, and landscape are real.

And nevertheless, there's this feeling of watching something fake, a synthetic fantasy. Freed from the restrictions of real life, the camera pans freely and dynamically, showing perfectly designed worlds. On the other hand, the older version has a steady camera in less attractive locations. But the snow is real, the train is real, and real the rails. It may not be the Orient Express rails, but they're made from steel are lay in some European land.

Sometimes the imperfections win over our hearts in a way that mirages can't.