Sample Film and Theatre Studies Paper on And Then There Were None, starring Sam Neill, 2015

"And Then There Were None" is a criminology play that has been developed with a
lot of creativity and numerous imaginations. The film is directed by Craig Viveiros and is
based on the novel, "And Then There Were None," written by Agatha Christie. There is no
evidence that the film is cosy throughout the play, as it provides no sense of feeling of
comfort, warmth, and relaxation. In the play, numerous themes are evident, including deceit,
isolation, criminality, and good vs. evil. These themes give the play its meaning and allow the
it to connect with issues taking place in society. Therefore, through this play, we can further
understand the various societal happenings. This paper aims to provide an in-depth analysis
of the two first episodes of the play and look deep into themes, and the analysis of genres
under which the play is based. The play is based on the theme of guilt and concealment and
can be categorized within the genre of historical fiction and mystery.
Episodic Analysis: Episode one

In the first episode of the film, eight strangers are shown arriving at Soldier Island,
where they are allegedly invited by old friends or the current apparent owners of the Island,
Mr. and Mrs. Owen. On the Island, no host is waiting for the visitors, although the domestic
staffs were present. In each of their rooms, the guests find a copy of a children's poem "Ten
Little Soldiers" and ten jade statuettes on the dining room table. After taking dinner, Mr.
Rogers, one of the domestic staff, plays a gramophone record. All the guests plus the
domestic staff are named as being accountable for the murder of another human for which

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they escaped punishment. One of the guests going by the name Blore is revealed to being an
impostor going with a different name. Accusations are made against all the guests, although
all refute the claims except for Philip Lombard and Anthony Marston. Shortly after, Marston
is killed in a similar manner to the first little soldier described in the poem. On the following
day, Mrs. Rogers is found dead from an unknown cause in her bed, which relates to the
poem's 2nd verse. Later on, they also realized that two of the soldiers in the dining room had

Episodic Analysis: Episode Two

The disappearance of the two soldiers cast doubt on Dr. Armstrong, who has his bag
searched. In the process of finding the answers to the mysterious, Mr. Owen is conducted on
the Island, and the nature behind the accusation start being realized; Philip Lombard he
participated in the murdering of 21 African just for the sake of a Diamond reward, Emily
Brent explains the disastrous past of her former maid, and General MacArthur surrenders to
insanity, dying with guilt after he murders his subordinate and wife's lover. General is found
with his head smashed in with a telescope, making the remaining individuals realize that
whoever developed the mysterious message had intentions to make good of their threat, based
on the children's poem's rules. Wargrave, who is one of the remaining individuals, suggests a
theory that the person behind their killing was among them. Later on, Mr. Rogers is found
dead from being split open with an axe, and Miss Brent is stabbed using one of her knitting
needles. The five survivors decide to join forces and unite to search all the rooms and
belongings to unearth the killer and save their lives.
Within the play, numerous themes have been presented. However, one of the main
themes of the play is guilt. How guilt is felt or should be felt, how it manifests itself, both
inside and outside, and how the it is explored are factors that have all been explored. Several
characters, including Brent, MacArthur, and Armstrong, all suffer from a deep sense of guilt.

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However, other characters, including Wargrave, and Lombard, do not seem to be harbouring
any sense of guilt. From the analysis of this theme from the play, it can be concluded that
guilt is a very intricate and personalised emotion. Concealment is another theme within the
play. Each guest in the Island has largely concealed their engagement in the murder of
another human being. Regardless, the method of concealment differs from guest to guest. For
instance, Armstrong and Blore applied fraternal courtesy, and the respect accorded to them as
experts. Wargrave utilizes his position of control and authority as a judicial officer. Marston
and MacArthur rely on the fact that the murder they committed was accidental by the
definition of law. Miss Brent conceal behind the cloak of inaction. Lombard relies on the fact
that he was operating in an isolated environment, and Claythorne applies the impetuous and
illogical nature of youth, including love. Concealment within the play operates on different
levels. For instance, initially, the guests hide specific facts about their past actions. In the
second episode of the play, the characters hide their true opinions and moods. The Island is a
geographical manifestation of concealment; that explains the reason it is cut off from the
mainland. Therefore, both the characters and the location of the play were full of concealment
demonstrated through various strategies.
The primary genre within the play includes mystery and historical fiction. And Then
There Were None is one of the most famous mystery plays of all time, and therefore it could
only make sense if it is fit in this genre. The mystery is a literary genre whose story focuses
on confusing crimes, conditions, and surroundings that need a solution (GOLDMAN 265).
The central aspect of mystery within the play is the fact that ten characters are on the Island
and are figuring who is murdering them all off. They are the only people within the Island,
and thus it has to be one of them. The mystery within is whether they can figure out and
identify the person killing them. The play can also be categorized within the genre of
historical fiction. This is a genre within literature, film, etc., involving narratives that occur in

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the past and are characterized mainly by an inventive reconstruction of past events and
personages (Teo 299). Agatha Christie, who is the writer of the novel on which the play is
based, was a dame in England in the early periods of the 20th century, and the play has a
distinctly 20th-century British feel. In fact, all the characters reflect a specific behaviour
connected to England; they get to the Island through a steam engine train, have a love for
gramophones, and also have servants. Besides, it is reflected in the novel written by Agathe
Christie, the characters say things to each other like, "You'll be all right now, Mrs. Rogers.
Just a nasty turn" (3.119).
In conclusion, the play is based on the theme of guilt and concealment and can be
categorized within the genre of historical fiction and mystery. The theme of guilt is reflected
within the play, where several characters are buried in guilt due to the murders or killings
they were involved in their past. Another theme is concealment. Every character has secrets
about their involvement in killing but develops specific concealment strategies. The play can
be categorized under the genre of historical fiction and mystery. These genres are clearly
evident throughout the play.

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Works Cited

GOLDMAN, ALAN H. “The Appeal of the Mystery.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art
Criticism, Vol. 69, No. 3 (2011): 261-272.
Teo, Hsu-Ming. “Historical fiction and fictions of history.” Rethinking History 15(2)
(2011): 297-313.