When I think of Agatha Christie, the first movie that comes to mind is Evil Under the Sun (and the first book, if anyone is wondering, Cards on the Table). It’s likely Maggie Smith’s strong character portrayal that makes it stand out.
Recently watching it again made me wonder about any other adaptations of Christie novels out there. This led to the discovery of Chorabali, which can only be described as Agatha Christie entirely reimagined – at least in terms of language and setting.
Of course, Chorabali still features bridge just as much as the original tale that inspired it, but instead set in India.
More About Chorabali (2016)
Chorabali (“Quicksand”) was first released on January 22, 2016 – and is not to be confused with an entirely unrelated action movie of the same name that was instead released in 2012.
The 2016 film was funded and released by Macneill Engineering, a Kolkata-based trucking company.
The plot relies heavily enough on Christie’s Cards on the Table to be considered a straight adaptation, but with some of the elements drastically swung to incorporate the story’s characters in different forms.
Chorabali is instead set in North Kolkata, with the role of Poirot instead being taken over by local detective Barun Chandra – and with a man called Dr Dasgupta as the host. The original host, of course, was Mr Shaitan. (Admittedly, I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t think to incorporate the same pun for the adaptation.)
During two simultaneous card games, it’s up to the detective to figure out how the host ends up dead. For sticking to the style of a whodunit, they got it right.
Sure, changing the country for an adaptation’s setting has been done for many adaptations before. The Japanese language film Ringu compared to the English remake The Ring is a prime example of setting adaptation that didn’t fit, while Chorabali is a considerably better one.
Adaptations generally fall very far short: But Chorabali is a surprisingly well-done adaptation that’s especially suited to binge watching detective movies (or a night of Clue, for that matter).
Other Adaptations of Christie
While we’re on the topic of Agatha Christie, another personal favorite adaptation is the series Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Cards on the Table was adapted for the second episode of Season 10 somewhere in 2005. This adaptation stays as faithful as possible to the original for traditionalists.
Bridge in India
Playing bridge near Chorabali? The best bet for finding out more information about local games is to visit the Bridge Federation of India (or BFI)
(BFI Official Website)