As a Sherlock Holmes fan, I was justifiably scared about watching the movie based on what the trailer promised (at least, that’s how I am justifying me watching the movie so late). Then again, as a fan, I could hardly stay away from the movie, can I?
The storyline is enough to give anyone who likes the books a long pause: Holmes and Watson have just finished up a case, quite similar to Jack the Ripper without naming that name. The culprit is caught and sentenced to death by hanging. Fortunately (since this is Holmes), to break the ennui, an old flame comes back in his life, with a missing person case for him.
At the same time, the rumours are doing rounds that the murderer is back from the grave. Now Holmes has to foil the far-reaching plot of the wily murderer who has supernatural powers and his even wilier new companion, with the help of faithful Watson.
At first glance, this is a Holmes completely different than anything we have read before. Gone is the sophisticated, dignified Victorian Gentleman (he comes from minor nobility, after all). And even more damning, this is not the emotionless, calculating machine we read about, but a man who feels jealous when Watson decides to get married. What would be the last straw for the devoted Holmes fan is the heavy supernatural tone of the plotline.
His and Irene Adler’s interaction has the undertones of familiarity, as if they have known each other for a long time. And his actions and banter sometimes make you feel like this is Tony Stark playing at being Sherlock Holmes (What is that scene in the hotel with the maid doing in a Holmes movie?).
But at some point into the movie, you start to enjoy the same banter and friendly friction between the Holmes-Watson team (Watson is bigger contributor to this team than the books). Holmes is accurate in many places, with no deerstalker hat and a period-appropriate pipe, the shooting gallery in his room and chemical experiments. So is the ambience of the late 19th-early 20th century London.
Irene Adler has necessarily been absent from Holmes stories, in keeping with the Holmes’ character. But if this series continues with next movies, the love-hate relationship between Irene and Holmes, which is so evident in this movie, would be a thing to look forward to. So would be Prof. Moriarty coming out of the shadows.
And may I please mention the soundtrack? Perhaps this is the first mention of a music/soundtrack of any movie on my blogs, which just shows you how much I liked it.
The biggest selling point for me in the movie was the sequences showing the thought process of Holmes, because if you read mystery beyond a certain point, you know what fun it is to follow how the detective connects the dots and makes the lines into a whole picture. I still don’t get why they didn’t took one of those and made it into a trailer.
As a converted non-canon Holmes fan, I will say this: imagine this to be an alternate universe Holmes and you will definitely enjoy the movie.
P.S. Do you wonder what this review is doing on a book blog? Well, the movie is based on a literary character (however remotely), I am a Holmes fan if you haven’t figured it out yet, and this is my blog. So there…
Quote of the Day:
Irene Adler: Why are you always so suspicious?
Sherlock Holmes: Should I answer chronologically or alphabetically?