Gwenda Halliday moves to England from India and moves into a house in a seaside village. She will soon be married and needs to renovate the house first. However, she keeps getting the strange feeling that she's been in the house before even though, as far as she is aware, she has never been in England before. Then a view of a part of the house sparks an image of a murder in her mind, and she gets extremely agitated. Her assistant, Hugh Hornbeam, is worried about her and calls in a friend, Miss Marple. It turns out Ms Halliday has previously lived in England, in that same house.Written by
Good, but somehow manages to make a mess of the book!
The book is without doubt the creepiest Marple book, and one of my favourite Agatha Christies. This adaptation is good, but could have been much better, had it been a lot closer to the source material. I didn't like the inclusion of the Funnybones group, and other characters were left out entirely, and those who were left in were quite badly altered. Though I must give credit to Sophia Myles, who did give Gwenda a very nervous edge, especially during the Duchess of Malfi performance, with the line "Cover her face" which creeped me out in the Joan Hickson version, but not really here. The acting was okay, but I wish they made Kennedy Scottish like they did in the Joan Hickson adaptation. As much an excellent actor Phil Davis is, he wasn't my idea of Kennedy. He was too young, compared to the Kennedy in the Joan Hickson version. This is beautifully shot, with some creepy moments in the beginning, but somehow falls rapidly downhill after The Duchess of Malfi scene. As most of the commentators had established already, the biggest letdown was the ending. In alternative to the genuinely frightening one in the book and the Joan Hickson version, it was turned into a Poirot- like charade with ghastly plot changes. Also it seemed rushed, and almost nonsensical, though I was touched that Gwenda found love at the end, despite the fact she's married in the book. In conclusion, this version could have been better. See the Joan Hickson version instead. Sorry I'm comparing this to the Joan Hickson series, but that did a much better job conveying the much-needed creepiness of the book. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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