Keeva Stratton fromÂ Quip Creative
Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Robert Downey Junior, Jude Law and Rachel McAdams
As a devout reader, I felt it only right to attempt to prepare for viewing, and indeed reviewing, the screen adaptation of the much beloved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character, Sherlock Holmes, by scouring the home library and perusing the original illustrated novels.
The thought of spending lazy summer nights entranced by the deductive brilliance of fiction\’s greatest detective seemed most appealing, and so to study A Study in Scarlet became my first task. It was, however, doomed to failure.
Unable to be gripped by page 19, largely due to the exactitude and masculine nature of the writing, I chose instead to view the film armed only with my populist interpretation and a stern warning from my husband (the true fan and owner of the collection), that â€˜elementary, my dear Watson\’ was more fictional than the character himself – indeed, it was never in the books.
And so to the film, which we have now established I viewed with little real prior knowledge. Spanning just over two hours in length, the film introduces us to the complex character of Holmes and sets us up for what will no doubt be a series of crime-solving adventures for our dark hero.
As with the depiction of many a brilliant mind, Holmes offers us little by way of likeable character. He is a man of science, a keen study of human behavior, an amateur pugilist, and he plays the violin as if grappling against reality with every note. He is a man lost in his own brilliance and trapped in an obsession for knowledge. And yet, you can\’t help but enjoy his mad deducing, and be thrilled by his shrewd wit.
Holmes is made warm by the humanity that surfaces through his friendship with the far more charismatic Dr. Watson (played by Law), who acts as a somewhat paternal figure to the erratic nature of Holmes.
Watson accepts and endures Holmes\’ idiosyncrises in light of his brilliance and is torn between with his choice to leave his crime-solving partnership with Holmes and his pursuit of his new love Mary.
Robert Downey Jr is superbly cast as Holmes. As with all his recent films, his acting brings a quality that is impressive to witness. Rachel McAdams is also up to the task of playing the equally brilliant female foil, Irene Adler. Their chemistry is both intriguing and well placed.
Fans of the novels will not be disappointed, as Ritchie has managed to transport his viewers into a dark and seedy London of the 1880s, that offers the perfect setting for villainy and screams out in need of an imperfect hero.
The characters are well devised and the balance between plot building and action is nicely measured. The plot employs classic mystery devices and leaves you puzzling your way through the clues to the final reveal at the end – and a what satisfying reveal it is.
Category: Film & TV