Reviews: Agatha Christie: Poirot – The Clocks (DVD)

Hercule Poirot is an iconic character – many avid readers will be familiar with the peculiarities of this particularly persistent private eye. Pow! Poirot is Christie’s version of Sherlock Holmes, the classy, aloof intellectual with a gift for observation and amazing powers of deduction. While we (in my humble opinion) are yet to witness the perfect performance of Holmes, in David Suchet we most definitely have the perfect Poirot. Suchet’s Poirot is considered by critics and scholars to be the most accurate portrayal of the diminutive detective ever put to stage or screen. Suchet has certainly had the time to perfect his performance – there have been 62 episodes of Agatha Christie’s Poirot produced by this team for Britain’s ITV, with Suchet starring in every single one.

Produced and released just this year, The Clocks mixes political intrigue with accusations of murder and showcases Poirot’s whiplike deductive mind at its absolute quickest.  The feature-length (89 minutes) episode co-stars Tom Burke as Lieutenant Colin Race and Jaime Winstone (daughter of the excellent Ray Winstone) as the accused Sheila Webb, and both actors  put in solid supporting performances. There’s really not a lot that can be said about the narrative of The Clocks without spoiling it (needless to say, timepieces figure in the equation), but it’s safe to say that Christie’s novel provides a solid foundation for the classic mystery explored and uncovered on-screen.

Poirot is brought in to assist with the investigation of a murder (surprise surprise) – there were no witnesses and the chief suspect denies her guilt, claiming to have only discovered the body. Cagey neighbors and the possibility that the corpse had been moved throws the investigation into confusion. Will Poirot get to the bottom of the murder at 19 Wilbraham Crescent?

The DVD came with no special features, which is somewhat forgivable – Poirot’s target audience is probably not particularly interested in DVD extras. However, I noticed at least 2 spelling/factual errors in the DVD blurb; Tom Burke’s name was misspelled (‘Bourke’) and the address listed was ’10 Wilbraham Crescent’. Tsk tsk.

However, the feature itself is fantastic and Suchet plays the Belgian detective with wit and intelligence.

3.5/5 (it would have been 4 if it weren’t for those pesky kids spelling errors!)

review by Ben Vernel


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