Intriguing but Hollow...,
This review is from: Agatha [Import] (VHS Tape)
As an Agatha Christie fan, I was very curious when I happened upon this video recently. As Christie always seems so cool, collected and in control as the voice behind her mysteries, I assumed that that was how she was in real life. Thus as I read the video description and learned that she was a painfully shy woman who clung to her husband for support, I was very interested in learning more.
What made this film even more intriguing is that in writing a screenplay about Christie, the minds behind this film did so playfully. They focused on an 11 day period when Christie disappeared, and set the whole thing up as a mystery plot...in classic Agatha style...
Or so they thought. The mystery part of this movie left no real mystery to solve. The "surprise twist" at the end was a minor twist that didn't really fulfill expectations. Otherwise, everything was painstakingly clear.
If you can leave aside the whole mystery story as a bold but ultimately doomed attempt (doomed simply by the confines of reality), the rest of the story did hold its own. The plot moved slowly, dialog was sometimes hard to understand and minor characters were hard to keep track of...all of which are typical of older films. However, the characters were engaging and the plot kept things moving along.
The build-up of the relationship between Christie and Apted is fully believable, except they don't get together in the end. This is not a "Roman Holiday" situation where they can't because of circumstances. Rather, it is because Apted is fictional and therefore not true to Christie's real life story. Thus, you are left emotionally baffled.
All that said, the greatest value I personally received from the film was a MUCH BETTER understanding of Christie herself and also of England in the 1920's. Additionally, I enjoyed Hoffman's character thoroughly. He really shone in his role.