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Unraveling the Enigma: 7 Clues to Unveil the Identity of the Venice Killer

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Throughout the film, a well-crafted array of clues unfolds to reveal the identity of the killer in “A Haunting in Venice.” In the classic whodunit style, these intricately placed clues stand as one of the most gratifying elements of the movie, enabling audiences to unravel the mystery alongside Hercule Poirot, the mustachioed and adept detective portrayed by Kenneth Branagh. Marking the third installment in Branagh’s series of Poirot adaptations, “A Haunting in Venice” diverges from Agatha Christie’s “Hallowe’en Party.” Situated in the haunting ambiance of post-World War II Venice, the film orbits around the tragic demise of Alicia Drake (played by Rowan Robinson), a young woman purportedly lost to the canals in an apparent drowning.

Despite his endeavor to relish a retirement free from murder mysteries, Poirot finds himself entangled in the peculiar circumstances surrounding Alicia’s presumed suicide. His involvement commences when an old acquaintance, the novelist Ariadne Oliver (portrayed by Tina Fey), invites him to a gathering. Hosted by Alicia’s mother, Rowena Drake (embodied by Kelly Reilly), the Halloween event takes place in the palazzo from which her daughter allegedly leaped, using the eerie holiday as a pretext for a séance. As more bodies accumulate, the certainty of Alicia’s demise diminishes. Ultimately, Poirot deduces that Rowena is the perpetrator behind her daughter’s death and the deaths of other attendees at the party.

1.The Killer’s Connection to Alicia’s Doctor

Rowena Drake and Dr. Leslie Ferrier (played by Jamie Dornan) do not share many intimate moments throughout the film, yet they are portrayed as being romantically involved. Ferrier grapples with post-traumatic stress stemming from the distressing wartime experiences, impairing his ability to sustain stable employment or relationships. Nevertheless, the movie emphasizes Rowena’s proximity to the doctor who conducted Alicia’s autopsy. Subsequently, it’s revealed that Ferrier inadvertently mixed the toxins, likely due to his post-war struggles with practicing medicine. However, Rowena’s association with Ferrier seemingly presents as a relationship of convenience.

2.Ariadne Oliver Unveils the Concealed Toxic Honey

In a rather jovial moment, Poirot engages in apple-bobbing in an empty room within the palazzo. However, the celebrated detective isn’t alone in this setting. A masked individual attempts to drown him, almost succeeding. Following the ordeal, Poirot’s friend and novelist, Ariadne Oliver, offers to prepare tea for the severely rattled detective and casually mentions discovering Rowena’s honey in a highly unusual place—not the typical kitchen pantry. In retrospect, it becomes evident that Rowena was surreptitiously hoarding the poisonous evidence, although it remains peculiar that she didn’t entirely dispose of the tainted honey.

3.Poirot Experiences Hallucinations After Consuming Tea

Subsequent to drinking tea to calm his nerves, Poirot begins to experience hallucinations. The film offers several explanations: one suggests that Poirot might finally be embracing the supernatural, but it is also evident that the tea Poirot consumed was sweetened with the same toxic honey that Rowena fed to Alicia. As viewers come to learn that Alicia, too, experienced hallucinations before her tragic demise, the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Nevertheless, the clue remains relatively subtle, aligning with “A Haunting in Venice’s” intent to straddle the line between reality and the surreal.

4.The Unearthing of Rowena’s Garden

In due course, Poirot makes a crucial deduction, linking Rowena to the tragic demise of Alicia. Earlier in the film, Poirot encounters Rowena’s rooftop garden, which was once lush with greenery and hosted a beehive. However, the garden now appears chaotic; the rhododendrons lay uprooted, and the hive stands empty. What might seem like a minor character trait reveals a significant clue to the killer’s identity: Rowena extracted a poisonous, hallucinogenic honey from her rhododendrons to incapacitate and subsequently care for her daughter.

5.Poirot and the guests Uncover Bees Concealed in the Basement

Midway through the film, Poirot and the other inhabitants of the palazzo stumble upon a hidden basement. Among the flooded chamber, the bones of the children, allegedly deceased years ago in the palazzo, are found. Yet, the most disquieting aspect of the revelation is that alongside Rowena’s poorly veiled gardening activities, her bees’ production of honey is also conspicuously evident. Not only does the hive persist in the dilapidated rooftop garden, but the bees themselves have found a new dwelling among the various skeletons in the basement. The presence of these displaced insects serves as a pivotal clue in unraveling the deeper enigma surrounding Alicia’s tragic death.

6.The Significance of the Soundproof Music Room and Its Key

The unearthing of the skeletons within the palazzo prompts Dr. Ferrier’s distress, leading Rowena to suggest that he seeks solace in her music room. As a former professional opera singer, Rowena constructed this soundproof chamber to practice without disturbing her daughter, Alicia. The existence of a soundproof enclosure in a mystery plot naturally raises suspicion, especially when Ferrier seemingly succumbs after entering the room. Rowena’s pivotal status as the perpetrator becomes even more conspicuous when she theatrically hands Poirot the sole key to the room. Clearly, the discerning detective isn’t Ferrier’s assailant, thus Rowena’s attempt to implicate Poirot inadvertently exposes her guilt.

7.Featuring a Cast Member from Yellowstone

While not an in-movie clue, it’s essential to consider Kelly Reilly’s prominence as an actress, notably from her role in the immensely popular series Yellowstone. Given the innocence of Yeoh, Dornan, Fey, and Branagh as potential multi-time killers in “A Haunting in Venice,” attention naturally turns towards the movie’s other major star. With a mounting collection of incriminating evidence, Rowena emerges as a prime suspect from the beginning. Nevertheless, this film stands out as Branagh’s most exceptional portrayal of Hercule Poirot to date.

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