Based on a well known Agatha Christie murder mystery novel, a private eye named Charles Hayward accepts a murder case from an ex-girlfriend to investigate the murder of her Grandfather.
Our private eye is granted a two-day head start before the investigation is officially taken over by the police. Charles will talk to several family members and search for clues which are all found under the roof of the large mansion where all the family live. ‘Who’ and ‘Why’ are just some of the questions raised behind this mysterious death.
Needless to say, if you love a classic “who done it tale”, then this film could be your type of movie. The film is loaded with plenty of characters, with family members who all could be behind the murder. From the introduction of each character, I did find myself slightly struggling to work out the connection or relation each one had with the murder victim.
The filming style is different, and I found it to be an odd choice. Many shots will have the main character in focus, but the background in many shots are blurred. Perhaps this was used to keep the focus on our actors and the dialogue, but if your film is set in a beautiful mansion or landscape, blurring shots seems like a missed opportunity. One scene in particular at the start also used a horrible shaky-cam style which also hurt what should have been a critical moment as it was introducing key main characters. The rest of the film’s camera work is excellent, and I also enjoyed the film’s audio track, in particular the sound effects.
While I enjoyed the film’s twist, the journey towards the final reveal can come along at a slightly slower pace with frustrating elements, including knowing what the last piece/element required to solve the crime is before our lead characters do. And before the third act, the film seems to simply fill time with pointless flashbacks or by watching other aspects get questioned.
Despite being a film with many characters, it’s no surprise that the actress Glenn Close is one of the biggest standouts of the movie in regards to performances.
Overall, Crooked House delivers a well-written murder mystery to the big screen. While the twist is rewarding, the journey can be a slight struggle in regards to the plot. The director’s choice of selected blurred shots with narrow depth of field, only focusing on its leads in each scene instead of crisp shots does make sense. It also seems like a waste considering how beautiful some locations genuinely are—worth a look for an Agatha Christie fans.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden