Knowing both the original Agatha Christie book and the 1970s movie so well, I can understand the dismay of some reviewers who find that a well known and well loved friend has grown and changed so much. But perhaps Poirot has not changed so dramatically in "Orient Express". In "Appointment with death" there were many intimations of Poirot's intense religious life, (contrary to the character conceived by Christie who was certainly not religious). We have known Poirot for so long that we feel surprised and shocked to learn that he, who has always been morally upright, is now also seen to be seriously devoted to his God. This new development of character makes Poirot more human, as in his later years he is looking for spiritual guidance in his cases as well as to his famous little grey cells.
The extra scenes in the film at the beginning, with the accused soldier's suicide and of the stoning of the woman in the streets of Istanbul, set the dark atmosphere immediately so you know not to expect the lighthearted and humourus shenanigans and conversations of the 1970's film. They definitely belong to two different genre.
The excellent, disturbung, repetitive and almost discordant music adds an element of both frantic movement of the train but also unstoppable movement of events leading to a climax.
All the actors are, as ever in a Poirot production, excellent. David Suchet plays his winsome, annoying, arrogant but lovable personna to perfection, and the final scene when he is wracked with guilt and probably for the first time, shame, is heartbreaking.
For Poirot afficionados, a shocking but superbe coming of age!I have given 4 stars, not as a reflection of the quality of the production, but because it may differ from some Poirot fan's expectations