The FILM IN WORDS Netflix Film of the Week: helping you navigate the filmic minefield of the nation’s favourite video streaming service.
Murder on the Transsiberian Express
Winter is nearing ever closer with each autumnal day – luckily not in a Game of Thrones “winter is coming” and the wilderness is rife with White Walkers kind of way – but it is getting a little chilly outside. So what better way to prepare yourself for the perils of the season than with an ill-fated train journey across the unforgiving Siberian landscape?
Photographer Jessie (Emily Mortimer) and her partner, hardware store owner, Roy (Woody Harrelson) are fresh off a stint of volunteering with a children’s charity in China and decide to embark upon their journey home via the world-famous Trans-Siberian railway. After the two Americans begin to settle into the rough-and-ready, close quarters lifestyle on-board, mysterious young lovers and cabin buddies, Abby and Carlos, are introduced. As the strange bedfellows begin to get better acquainted, Abby’s suspicions and attraction to sweet-talkin’ criminal Carlos begin to grow – placing her and Roy on a dangerous collision course with hardened Russian Narc, Grinko (Ben Kingsley).
Wrought with suspicion, murder, and several characters who will repeatedly defy your expectations, Transsiberian’s Hitchcockian cross-country take on the thriller genre will take hold of you with an icy grip, until the moment Jessie and Roy’s lives finally derail. It’s highly atmospheric journey across the desolate landscape perfectly personifies and distils the couple’s inner feelings of isolation, immersing you and forcing you to continually empathise with their struggle. If you’re interested in thrillers with widescreen ambition that provide an original twist on the genre, whilst also embodying those classic traits which drove films such as Murder on The Orient Express (1974) and North by Northwest (1959) then Transsiberian will welcome you into winter with open arms and a shot of the finest Russian vodka.