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Crooked House

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Crooked House, directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, is a 2017 film adaptation of one of Agatha Christie's many mystery novels. The film stars Max Irons, Stefanie Martini, Glenn Close, and a slew of other impressive actors who brilliantly bring the intricacies of Christie's characters to life on the big screen.

The film opens with private detective Charles Hayward, portrayed by Max Irons, dealing with the mysterious and sudden death of wealthy patriarch Aristide Leonides. Josephine, Grandfather Aristide’s beloved grandchild, believes that her grandfather did not die of natural causes and persuades Charles, who's also her former lover, to investigate the perplexing death. The private investigator's world soon spirals into chaos as he navigates his way through the labyrinthine Leonides mansion, manipulating its secrets—all under the watchful gaze of three generations of the Leonides family who continue living under the same roof, cohabitating but paradoxically detached from each other.

Max Irons delivers an exceptional performance as Charles Hayward, perfectly balancing the myriad aspects of the character—a private detective torn between his professional obligations and personal affiliations. Stefanie Martini, playing Sophia Leonides, also impresses, portraying a complex character who is aloof yet emotionally dependent, cynical yet hopeful.

Glenn Close, portraying Aunt Edith aka the Lady Edith de Haviland, projects a formidable presence on the screen. Her portrayal of a woman who shoulders the responsibility for a family burdened by resentments, secrets, and grudges is brilliantly nuanced. Each member of the Leonides family is meticulously cast, including Christina Hendricks as Brenda Leonides, Terence Stamp as Chief Inspector Taverner, and Julian Sands as Philip Leonides. All the actors in this ensemble convincingly convey a wide range of emotions, from greed and fear to suspicion and desperation.

Paquet-Brenner plays masterfully with the suggestive title, "Crooked House". The Leonides mansion itself is a central character—declining yet imposing, aesthetically beautiful and yet quite claustrophobic, mirroring the family living within. Its crookedness is reflected in contrasting walls, warped staircases, rambling corridors, and rooms filled with hidden secrets. To this end, the set design, makeup, costumes, and cinematography play as much as a role in the storytelling as the dialogue and performances. The visual atmosphere created by Paquet-Brenner brilliantly complements the plot's progression, successfully keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

The narrative skillfully weaves the complex interplay of emotions and events, managing to keep the viewers guessing till the very end, true to Agatha Christie's style. Julian Fellowes, Tim Rose Price, and Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s adaptation of Christie's novel onto the silver screen maintains the book's original suspense, with additional elements adding fascinating dimensions to the narrative. Each character is intricately intertwined in the plot, each with their motive, contributing towards a landscape rich in suspense.

At its heart, Crooked House investigates family affairs and the looming dread of disgrace. The themes of love, loss, betrayal, loyalty, and familial ties resonate throughout the film, making it much more than just a thrilling mystery. The film also subtly alludes to the social, economic, and political changes of post-war Britain, blending in historical elements seamlessly.

Through Crooked House, we see a darker side of Agatha Christie's storytelling. The film takes one on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and suspense and is a must-watch for fans of thrillers and Agatha Christie's work. This adaptation surpasses mere entertainment, making an insightful commentary on post-war British society and human relationships. A film that offers suspense in abundance, it also makes us delve deep into the complexities of human relationships and the extremes people might go to avoid disgrace.

In conclusion, Crooked House is a finely crafted mystery-thriller filled with intriguing characters and a plot laced with suspense. Enriched by riveting performances, meticulous set design, a well-adapted screenplay, and masterful direction, it keeps the viewers engaged until the last frame and leaves them with a lingering trace of its haunting atmosphere. This brilliant adaptation of an Agatha Christie classic perfectly encapsulates the spirit of her writing, making it a must-watch for any fan of her work, and indeed, for anyone who enjoys a well-concocted mystery.

Crooked House is a Mystery, Crime, Thriller movie released in 2017. It has a runtime of 115 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.3. It also holds a MetaScore of 59.

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Where can I stream Crooked House movie online? Crooked House is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Crooked House for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Christina Hendricks, Gillian Anderson, Glenn Close, Terence Stamp, Max Irons, Amanda Abbington, Julian Sands, Stefanie Martini
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