What is the plot of Death on the Nile in the film compared to the book?

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Death on the Nile’s plot has all the sinister twists and turns to keep viewers hooked, but there are some huge differences that book fans will have spotted.

There’s nothing quite like a whodunit to have thriller fans eagerly searching for tiny clues to get one step ahead of the lead detective. With classic Agatha Christie Belgian detective Hercule Poirot embroiled in the Death on the Nile conspiracy, finding out who dies in Death on the Nile before he reveals the complex truth isn’t easy. Fans of The Last Kingdom cast’s dramatic performances and the best historical fiction books will be swept away by the intriguing characters and stunning setting.

What begins as a romantic honeymoon for Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle and her husband Simon quickly takes a dark turn as murders, mayhem and betrayals are revealed.

But what is the plot of Death on the Nile in the film, how is it different from Agatha Christie’s 1937 book, and who is the killer?

*Warning: big spoilers ahead!*

Cast of Death on the Nile

(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

What is the plot of Death on the Nile in the film?

In Kenneth Branagh’s 2022 film, the plot Death on the Nile sees beloved newlyweds Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle and Simon Doyle as they celebrate their wedding in Egypt. Heiress Linnet rushed over and captivated Simon, who was in love with his childhood friend Jacqueline ‘Jackie’ de Bellefort. This left Jackie heartbroken and determined to mess things up between the couple by stalking them wherever they go.

Meeting his old friend Bouc (a familiar face if you enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express) and his artist mother Euphemia, Poirot is invited to join them for the celebrations. After the guests and hosts move the honeymoon aboard the SS Karnak Linnet, Poirot confesses that she doesn’t trust any of them and fears what Jackie might do.

After a visit to the temple at Abu Simbel nearly sees Linnet killed, her fears intensify and return to find that Jackie has joined them on the boat. That night, after Linnet goes to bed, Jackie angrily confronts Simon and shoots him in the leg, before becoming hysterical. He is groomed and insists that Jackie is not left alone in this state.

The next morning, Linnet is discovered dead with her immensely valuable necklace stolen, and Poirot is thrown to the bottom as he tries to find out who might be responsible. During the investigation, Louise, Linnet’s maid, who had wanted to leave her mistress to get married before the heiress put an end to it, is found dead with money.

Cast of Death on the Nile

(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

The Belgian detective soon deduces that she was blackmailing the killer and knew more than she was letting on. But unfortunately, the only person who witnessed Louise’s murder, none other than her friend Bouc, who had stolen the necklace, is also killed.

Along the way, it turns out that Bouc’s mother, Euphemia, had hired Poirot behind her son’s back to find out the value of his love, Rosalie, who is a former classmate of Linnet and another passenger on the SS Karnak. . In the end, as the detective uncovers the truth, it seems Linnet should have looked a little closer to home when she worried about the assassination attempts…

How is the plot of Death on the Nile different from the book?

Even the best book-to-movie adaptations have their fair share of changes, and in many ways the plot of Death on the Nile is staggeringly different from Agatha Christie’s original Poirot mystery. For starters, in the book Death on the Nile, the passengers of the SS Karnak are not invited to join Linnet and Simon’s honeymoon.

Instead, while some like Jackie, housekeeper Louise, and Andrew Pennington (Andrew Katchadourian in the film) really know the newlyweds, others are simply on vacation. Of course, Linnet’s fame as a beautiful heiress precedes her, and many passengers recognize her, but they are not specially invited to celebrate her marriage.

Death on the Nile with Gal Gadot

(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

Far from it as Linnet and Simon board the ship in an attempt to escape Jackie and want privacy. In the books, there are also several characters who are missing from the Death in the Nile plot in the film and who play major roles.

This notably includes Dr. Bessner (instead, Linnet has an ex-partner Linus Windlesham who is a doctor) and Marie Van Schuyler’s cousin, Cornelia Robson, who becomes engaged to Dr. Bessner, much to the horror of her wealthy cousin.

Meanwhile, Goat does not appear in the plot of Death on the Nile in the book and his place is taken by the character of Tim Allerton, who is Rosalie’s love interest. Tim has a huge subplot in the books that isn’t incorporated into the movie and Poirot isn’t hired by Tim’s mom either because he’s Goat in the movie and is just on vacation.

Death on the Nile with Kenneth Branagh

(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

In the original Agatha Christie tale, Tim teamed up with his distant cousin Joanna Southwood (who is mentioned, but does not appear on the SS Kanak) to replace the faux pearls Joanna had made for the extremely valuable necklace. of Linnet. He manages to pull the switch out (not realizing she died in her bed) but Poirot isn’t so easily fooled.

Confronted by Tim, he exposes his crime but agrees the case won’t go any further if he returns Linnet’s pearls. The pearls are also important to Marie Van Schuyler who lives with Kleptomania and had stolen the fake pearls before Cornelia returned them, twice casting suspicion on Marie as her stole had been found in the Nile with an incriminating gun wrapped in it. interior.

Death on the Nile with Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French

(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

Another huge difference between the plot of Death on the Nile in the book and the film is the introduction of Poirot developing romantic feelings for jazz singer (and romance writer in the book) Salome Otterbourne in the film and a story with his fiancée named Katherine during the war. Book-Poirot could not be more disinterested in Salomé and his sentimental life remains much more mysterious…

When it comes to who dies, there’s also a huge shift, swapping Salome’s final kill for Goat. In Kenneth Branagh’s film, Bouc had attempted to steal Linnet’s pearls to become financially independent from his mother in a move that somehow resembles the book and he was silenced before he could reveal who killed Louise.

Death on the Nile with Tom Bateman and Annette Bening

(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

There are also some more minor changes as the Death on the Nile film comes to an end. This includes using Goat’s mother Euphemia’s artist paint to appear as blood in a fake accident while in the book nail polish is used. Though these are perhaps far less noticeable to book fans than Death on the Nile’s more substantial plot differences.

Regardless of the changes, however, both the movie and the book Death on the Nile have gripping storylines filled with intriguing suspects for Poirot to expertly interrogate. And if you didn’t enjoy both, there’s plenty of time to read and watch!

Who did it in Death on the Nile? The identity of the killer explained

Despite several significant plot changes to Death on the Nile in general, in terms of who did it in the film, the killer’s identity remains the same. Or should we say, *killers* like Jackie and Simon both turn out to be behind the three murders of Linnet, Louise and Bouc.

In Agatha Christie’s novel, Salomé is killed instead of Bouc, although the motivation and planning have not been changed. Although Simon seems to have been estranged from his former lover Jackie at Linnet, his feelings have never changed. He and Jackie are still very much in love, and he only married Linnet for the money, planning to kill her and inherit her fortune.

Cast of Death on the Nile

(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

On the night of Linnet’s death, Jackie never actually shot Simon, but wanted to make it look like he was unable to walk to give him an alibi for the murder. In the book she fired the bullet into the table near her leg, but in the movie she just fired a blank which appeared to be a real bullet. He squeezed a handkerchief already stained with nail polish (paint in the movie) to give the appearance of blood.

While Jackie is cared for by Mrs. Bowers and Simon waits for medical help to be called, he is left alone. The ruthless new husband then runs to his wife’s cabin and kills her, before returning and shooting himself in the leg so that, when examined, the doctor can confirm what everyone thinks was produced earlier.

He wrapped the gun in Marie Van Schuyler’s scarf and threw it out the window, now in utter agony. Everything seemed to have gone according to plan until Louise implied that she had seen him kill his mistress, hoping for a huge payout.

Death on the Nile with Rose Leslie

(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

A panicked Simon finds time to inform Jackie of Louise’s threat in a rare private moment as she pretends to apologize for shooting him. Reacting quickly, her lover proceeds to eliminate their blackmailer. Unfortunately for the ruthless pair, Jackie is seen doing it by Goat and she is forced to hastily kill him too before he can reveal the truth to his detective friend.

When Poirot finally uncovers the truth, the ever pragmatic Jackie, who cold-bloodedly planned Linnet’s original murder set to be carried out by action man Simon, realizes there is no issue.

In a shocking move in both the book and the movie Death on the Nile, Jackie and Simon commit suicide to escape punishment for their crimes.

Discussing the changes, Death on the Nile screenwriter Michael Green opened up RadioTimes.com to move away from reproducing Agatha Christie’s story.

“What you want to do is honor it, but you have to give yourself permission to break and restructure in order to honor it,” he said. “Because every time you adapt something, you have to find what you love. And at the expense of a lot of other things, you have to make sure that what you love comes to fruition.

“And sometimes you have to undo beautiful things in the book or delicate things in the book, or even interesting things in the book to make room for what needs to happen,” he said.

Death on the Nile is available to watch on Hulu and HBO Max in the US and Disney+ in Europe.


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