Sunday, 24 February 2013

Easy entertainment

The weather is overcast and cool. The maximum has not even hit 30 degrees Celsius for a couple of days. Great weather for staying indoors. Great weather for sewing. Great weather for watching even more TV.

Great weather for a little Poirot. I own some DVDs of the Poirot television series, but Five Little Pigs is a full length feature film.

Agatha Christie had a particular strategy she often used, of gathering all the characters in a room and then solving the crime. It is followed in this story. Probably at some time I have read the story but I did not remember it.

Poirot does not call on his sidekicks Captain Hastings or Chief Inspector Japp in Five Little Pigs. The plot has certain predictable elements, but these may not have been common at the time of writing. Television crime stories have used most Agatha Christie plots with variations many times. A husband dies. The wife is hanged for the crime. The daughter grows to be an adult and then engages Poirot to reveal the truth. Was it the wife, the sister, the daughter, the mistress, the neighbour? Which of the Five Little Pigs is the murderer and why?

The costumes are delightful, and those who enjoy shows like Downton Abbey will appreciate the details. The sets are real houses which appear to be lived in, containing all the trivia of daily life. The garden is lovely but not manicured.
David Suchet is excellent as the Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, probing each character for signs of guilt. I thought I recognised one other actor but try as I might I do not recall what she may have been in. As in most of the Poirot films the actors are highly skilled but not overly familiar.

This is not adventure drama like the Bourne Trilogy, no chases, no violence, no sex, no explosions, no foul language. The tension exists through the steady winkling out of motive. It held my attention well and I thoroughly enjoyed Five Little Pigs.

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