Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 5.0
Video 9.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features   0.0
Total 7.5
Distributor: Roadshow
Running Time:
92 minutes
Classification:
M15+
Reviewer:
Felix Staica

7.5


Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures

Not having read a single Christie book ever, nor even sitting through a movie based on one of her books, I must confess the reason I chose to review this title is largely my flatmate. He is quite a fan and so after a lot of curiosity, I decide to find out a bit about the author through the convenience (no reading involved) of a BBC biopic. 

Writer/director Richard Curson Smith’s telemovie is no doubt well researched and his purpose is earnest enough, but the product is a bit musty. It could be many things, such as Olivia Williams’ plank-like portrayal of Christie in her 30s, or the sedentary narrative devices employed: a flashback in a psychotherapist’s room or a press call where journalist after journalist provides the older Aggie (the poshly-spoken Anna Massey who does a wonderful job and easily outshines Williams) the chance for a lengthy flashback. The writing is clunky in places too. 

Perhaps the most disconcerting aspect of the whole 90 minute show is the cinematographic choice of using three distinct colour techniques. One is standard colour, the other is a stylised faded option and the third is an old-style B&W number. The filmmakers obviously thought it clever to use the monochrome one for documentary feeling, the faded one for ‘psychological insight scenes’ and the standard colour for the ‘here and now’ scenes. It all gets a bit tiring. Maybe these are trite concerns, but I still have a right to express them! 

The heart of the story is Christie’s dozen-day disappearance as a result of amnesia. Those around her speculate that she’s living out one of her stories. The flashbacks also construct a very insecure personality founded on an unclear childhood trauma personified as a gun-caressing rough-type who is always at the boundary of her life. 

There are no special features on the disc. I don’t recommend you buy this title unless your bookshelves are lined with Christie books or you run a library and think you need it as a resource! This is best watched on an ABC arts afternoon when you’re half asleep I fear. 

Felix Staica






 
 



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