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Review: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? – Marple: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2009)

Director: Nicholas Renton | 92 minutes | drama, crime | Actors: Julia McKenzie, Sean Biggerstaff, David Buchanan, Siwan Morris, Helen Lederer, Georgia Moffett, Samantha Bond, Richard Briers, Freddie Fox, Rick Mayall, Hannah Murray, Rafe Spall, Natalie Dormer, Warren Clarke,

Bobby Attfield is walking along the steep rocky coast when he hears strange noises. He carefully climbs down to find a badly wounded man. The man grabs Bobby firmly by the arm and asks him the cryptic question, “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?” Not much later, Bobby discusses the incident with Miss Marple, a childhood friend of his mother’s who happens to visit them. Miss Marple sends Bobby to investigate. On his return journey, he bumps into Frankie Derwent (Georgia Moffett) on the train. This noble young lady becomes so intrigued by the mysterious incident that she immediately throws herself into the matter. Everything indicates that in Castle Savage she will be able to learn more about the deceased man and his strange question.

Frankie deliberately causes an accident with her car near Castle Savage. As a result, she is invited by the Savage to stay with them until she has fully recovered. Frankie soon discovers a series of rather curious cases that she passes on to Bobby over the phone. This disturbing phone call prompts Miss Marple to impersonate Frankie’s governess and thus assist Frankie in what she considers a very dangerous home. And eventually Bobby also reports to Castle Savage as Frankie’s driver. The three of them try to unravel the secrets of Castle Savage. Not everyone is comfortable with this.

It is not the experienced actors who steal the show here with their solid acting, but the younger generation and especially Hannah Murray. Together with Freddie Fox, she jumps like a devil from a box at the most unexpected moments, after which they sharpen the scenes. They startle the other characters and make the viewer laugh, creating an atmosphere of their own in which they display a pleasantly disturbed eccentricity. Most of all, it’s the utterly impudent way indulges in her role that you have to laugh at her every time, something happens anyway, every time she comes on screen. It is this pronounced comic, rather than restrained, mild humor that makes this episode of Miss Marple a very amusing detective story.

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