AGATHA AND THE TRUTH OF MURDER
UK, 2018, 90 minutes, Colour.
Ruth Bradley, Pippa Hayward, Tim Mc Inerney, Blake Harrison, Luke Pierre, Joshua Silver, Samantha Spiro, Ralph Ineson.
Directed by Terry Loane.
There was a lot of speculation in 1926 when Agatha Christie disappeared for 10 days. She had begun her successful career but her husband wanted to divorce her. Speculation on what happened during her time of amnesia was the subject of the film, Agatha, with Vanessa Redgrave as the author.
Here is a further speculation. She is approached by a woman wanting her to investigate the murder of her friend but is personally upset and refuses. However, she eventually agrees, sets up something of an outlandish situation where she pretends to be a legal advisor and the woman who asked for advice is the maid. They invent a scenario where they are able to invite all the possible suspects of the murder in the train, interrogate them.
However, when one of them is murdered, the situation becomes very much an Agatha Christie novel’s plot, the police coming to investigate, resentful that so many of the police force is out searching for the missing author.
Once again, audiences have to work on the least likely suspect – and will not be too disappointed.
Ruth Bradley has quite a strong presence as Agatha Christie.
1. An imaginative Agatha Christie story? The true story of her disappearance and the search for her? Her claims of amnesia? The background of her husband divorcing her and remarrying? Her career and her novels?
2. Agatha Christie and her career, her style of murder mysteries?
3. The background of Agatha Christie, her consulting Arthur Conan Doyle for advice, on the golf course, her dislike of golf, he suggesting she designed a golf course, her going to the psychologist, her doing the work, her husband’s appreciation?
4. The prologue, Florence on the train, chatting, the attack, the bludgeoning, her death?
5. Mabel, her preoccupation with Florence’s death, the visit to Agatha Christie, Agatha Christie is rejecting her request? Her leaving the folder? Agatha reading it, going to visit Mabel, deciding to pursue the case? The list of possible suspects?
6. The plan, her posing as a lawyer, gathering the relatives together, Mabel as the maid, the plan for interrogation?
7. The suspects and dinner? Audiences and the clues, decisions as to who was the killer? And the murder in the house?
8. The group, at the meal, attitude towards family, attitudes towards inheritance?
9. The range of suspects: the man arrested on suspicion of Florence as murder, his background, wheeling and dealing during the war, I’ve had attitudes? Wade, his attitude, suspect but his presence in America, his awarding conscription, brutality talked his wife, talk to Daphne, his being murdered? Daphne, timid, relationship with her father, the interrogation and her being quiet, the situation of her failing the nursing test and the intervention of Florence? The young Frenchman, translator, work in the war, admiration for Florence, attraction to its Daphne? Randolph, his arrogance, the inheritance? His devotion to Florence, dislike of Mabel? Pamela and Franklin, mother and son, his being a priest, loss of faith, antipathy towards the Germans? His relationship with his mother Mark
10. Agatha, her disguise, her manner, the interrogations, the decision that wage should inherit? The reactions of the others? Wade’s death?
11. The arrival of the inspector, his tough attitudes, direct? His assistant? His complaint about the search for Agatha Christie? The interrogations, keeping the people in their rooms? Interrogating Agatha, the phone call, his discovery of the truth? Mabel, suspicions, in the cupboard with the gun? The arrest?
12. The plan with the inspector, collaboration of Mabel? The meal, checking on Daphne? The blackmail note? Daphne and the truth about her father?
13. Pamela and her son going to Daphne, confronting Agatha, the revelation of the truth, the manner of the killing, the carriages, the motivations? Franklin to tackle Agatha? The intervention of the inspector, the other witnesses?
14. Franklin and his reaction, Pamela and her denials? The arrest?
15. Agatha, the collaboration with the inspector, her going home, talking with Mabel, Mabel and her devotion to Florence, the relationship? Agatha and her future…?