Retro-review: Collected in a new THE BEST OF AGATHA CHRISTIE Vol.1 Collection from Acorn; help me out and pick it up on DVD/BluRay here on Amazon!

Agatha Christie’s PIOROT: FIVE LITTLE PIGS (2003)

Directed by Paul Unwin
Written by Agatha Christie (based on the novel by), Kevin Elyot (screenplay)
Starring David Suchet, Rachael Stirling, Aidan Gillen, Toby Stephens, Marc Warren, Aimee Mullins, Julie Cox, Gemma Jones, Sophie Winkleman, Talulah Riley, Patrick Malahide, Annette Badland, Roger Brierley, Richard Teverson, Melissa Suffield, Lottie Unwin, Darien Smith, Jacek Bilinski, Joel de Temperley

Man, do I love me some David Suchet as Poirot. I’m glad Kenneth Branagh made MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS if only for the reason for those who are interested in the Piorot character might stumble upon Suchet’s much more nuanced performance in PBS’ Agatha Christie series. FIVE LITTLE PIGS isn’t the best mystery to be had in this first volume of the Agatha Christie Collection, but is still provides a great Piorot for all of us to enjoy!

A young woman named Lucy Crale (Aimee Mullins) approaches Piorot (Suchet) to clear the name of her mother, who was hanged for a crime committed long ago. This gives Piorot the impossible task of investigating a murder, 14 years closed. Piorot interviews five of the guests present at the time of the death of a famed artist (Aidan Gillen), proving that time serves as no barrier for Piorot’s quest to find the truth.

In true Christie fashion, FIVE LITTLE PIGS is a great example of how to do a mystery right. You have a murder, a group of suspicious suspects (all with their own agenda), and an investigator poking and prodding them all. As always, the most fun to be had with this little mystery is watching Suchet work as Piorot who walks the tightrope of being a shrewd investigator of the human condition while existing somewhat outside of actually being one. Piorot is both moved and unsettled by the extreme emotions at play between the group of high society types who may or may not have murdered one of their own.

If there is a problem with FIVE LITTLE PIGS, it’s that the answer to the mystery is somewhat too obvious in the end. By the halfway point, all fingers point to one suspect and sure enough, that’s who did the foul deed. Maybe I’m watching too much of these in a row, or that I’m beginning to notice a pattern in Christie’s mystery formula. But I was able to call the killer long before the end. That said, this is another excellently acted and produced little mystery lead by Suchet, who makes every moment he is on screen engrossing and fun.

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