Her stories hold you captive, embroil you into a sea of varied human characters. Lastly, titillate your inner-detective. However, finally burst before you a conclusion barely expected. In such a fashion, the English crime novelist Agatha Christie stays at her sinister best. Be it creating edge-of-the-seat mystery or brainstorming sleuth characters like Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot. She fares in both counts in plain speak.
By and large, Bollywood owes a great deal to Agatha Christie. That is for producing big cinematic hits from her stories. Similarly, many regional movies too adapted her stories. Either way, it made Agatha Christie a household name for Indian cine-goers.
Here’s jotting down the list a gourmand of suspense-thrillers will swear by.
Treatment of suspense in Gumnaam
The 1965 release is the torch-bearer of this list. Saying so because apparently Gumnaam was the first Agatha Christie adaptation that pronto shot to superlative success. Basically, the film is a silver-screen illustration of her story. That is And then there were none. It’s a story about eight people who get trapped in an island. And all the killings occur eventually. Along the watch, layers of unraveling mystery churn the stomach. I bet you will swear by the brilliant use of the song ‘Gumnaam hai koi’ that feed fat the suspense.The major draw of the story-telling is that you are catered with a new secret before quite finished with the previous one. Of course, director Raja Nawathe brings out the best from the seasoned actors. From the likes of Manoj Kumar, Mehmood, Madan Puri, Pran, Nanda and Helen. All things considered, sitting through Gumnaam is a true nail-biting experience.
Treatment of suspense in Dhund
I imagine the 60s and 70s Bollywood was truly besotted to murder mysteries. Precisely, Agatha Christie. This 1973 release too is from one of her masterpieces. That is The unexpected guest. The story revolves around a car-wrecked stranger knocking a door of a damsel-in-distress. The one who shot her vicious husband just then. Upon hearing her sad tale of woe, the stranger decides to help her escape punishment.
The whodunit holds true with the Agatha Christie style of domestic murder. Her signature elements like trying to hide evidence, making the murder look like a theft gone wrong. Still many potholes weren’t spared from sight. In fact, the whole forensic proceedings look like a make-belief to a sensible audience. But then, the well-crafted murder trial serves the crime saga all right.
Treatment of suspense in Shubho Mohorot
National award winning director Rituparno Ghosh directed the Bengali movie. As a matter of fact, he adapted Agatha Christie’s novel Mirror cracked from side to side. No denying, the film did a rightful justice to her pen-style. After all it takes courage to translate Miss Marple into a Bengali Pishi (paternal aunt) stuck in relentless mundane. Rakhi Gulzar was the perfect shoe-in for Miss Marple’s role so was Nandita Das and Sharmila Tagore in their respective roles.
Although he always kept us guessing, least we could imagine the climax. Even though there were brazen series of mistakes by the culprit to hide her crime. Because Agatha Christie’s novels have more psychological treatment than actions, Ghosh stuck her style pretty obediently. All in all, Shubho Mohorot is a must watch for all mystery lovers.
Treatment of suspense in Adhey Kangal
Legendary director A.C Tirulokchandar directed the 1967 Tamil Thriller. Although the film makers withhold the source, we sense major influence of Christie’s work. It thrives around a domestic killing again. Furthermore, the film like all mystery films has layered story-telling. A linear array of grisly incidents slowly drop hint about the climax. The director however did a brilliant job to leave us assuming.
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