Went to see the new Avatar movie on Wednesday but it was sold out (still selling out after 3 weeks!!) so decided to see Sherlock Holmes. Because I am a big (huge) fan of Sherlock Holmes (I have visited the 221B Baker Street Museum in London), I was not sure what kind of justice Guy Ritchie would do to this legendary figure. I was pleasantly surprised!
First of I would say that the movie is just an interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. The story is not by Arthur Conan Doyle but the screenplay does follow some aspects of how Doyle would write the story. The biggest difference that I saw was that Sherlock Holmes was portrayed as some macho figure. And in the books and TV interpretations, that’s not the case. Rather the Sherlock Holmes that I know is more feminine than the one in the movie.
Then there are little differences like Sherlock Holmes obsession of Irene Alder. In the movie she comes back after going on a marriage spree and Sherlock Holmes has a picture of her and articles on her from various magazines and by the conversation between the two characters, it seems they have spent time together in a hotel room. In the books, however, Irene Alder features in only once and Sherlock Holmes admired her for outwitting him. That’s it. She goes off to marry the love of her life and that’s the end of that. I guess it’s hollywood and they want a romantic angle no matter what.
In the movie, both Sherlock Holmes and Watson are portrayed as young men with old men experience. How that’s possible, I have no clue. But they both fight at the drop of the hat and are have great wit and come off as happy go lucky friends. But in the books Sherlock Holmes is completely aloof, indulges in opium when he is bored (a glaring omission in the movie), has no time for frivolities like fighting (there are only 2 occasions I can think of when Sherlock Holmes actually throws a punch), does not indulge in any physical activities and loves to play the violin.
On the whole I think the movie was an excellent introduction to the younger audience and both Robert Downey and Jude Law have done a masterful job. I like the aggressive and brash Sherlock Holmes. And I also like that Guy Ritchie let the tension build without explaining each mystery and let Holmes handle it at the end (like every good Sherlock Holmes novel). And the next movie is already set up. Professor Moriarty has been introduced and Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have already accepted the case. Game On.
BTW, what’s with the warning signs everywhere at the theatres about carrying recording devices into the cinema halls? Is there a recording epidemic in Canada that I am not aware of?
I didnt know you were a Sherlock Holmes fan… I just love the John Hawkesworth’s series and have watched the episodes so many times. Jeremy Brett played the nuances of Holmes character so well that you cant help but even like the oddities that you mentioned. What strikes me as most appealing though is the ‘very english’ old-world charm.
Yeah, my favourite was Brett too. Just loved the passion in his eyes and his unflinching attitude to portray a flawed yet a great character!