27/12/2009

AT THE MOVIES - SHERLOCK HOLMES 2009



I was at the cinema this afternoon and I was surprisingly glad to see the new SHERLOCK HOLMES film.



Guy Ritchie’s movie matches Sherlock Holmes’s intellectual ability with incredible physical strength and agility turning our beloved Victorian “consulting detective” in a new unbeatable modern hero. A very fascinating one, impossible to resist his oomph. Robert Downey Jr. gives a very convincing performance. Watson, his loyal right-hand man and friend is the first who can never say no to him. I’ve always imagined Watson as short, fat and not very young so … Jude Law? Not that I want to claim about the change, but he … rather surpasses any optimistic expectation.






Holmes’s infallible deductive method is still there. Do you remember? He believes that “From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other." Thanks to his method and the help of Dr Watson, in this story set in London in 1891, he uncovers an incredibly devilish plot by an occult-dabbling secret society known as the Temple of the Four Orders with Lord Blackwood (fascinatingly evil Mark Strong) eventually leading it on a quest for world domination.
Many fighting scenes, lots of them , but accurately made and mostly amusing. I usually don’t like them but they were fun, this time. Holmes defeats very frightening bigger-than-him guys and you believe it possible. He studies them with his cunning observation and finds out what their weaknesses are!





As for female characters, the only woman to impress Holmes in Sir Conan Doyle’s work was Irene Adler, who was always referred to by Holmes as "the woman". Holmes himself is never directly quoted as using this term—even though he does mention her actual name several times in other cases. Adler is one of the few women who are mentioned in multiple Holmes stories, though she actually appears in person in only one, "A Scandal in Bohemia". She is in this film too and is a very smart brave young woman who has only a fawl, she loves Holmes. Irene is interpreted by vivacious Canadian actress Rachel McAdams. The other woman in the movie is Dr Watson’s fiance, beatiful and intelligent Mary ( Kelly Reilly ) , who is immediately seen as a rival by Holmes.

Another interesting point is the possibility of Holmes having bipolar disorder (also referred to as manic depressive disorder) which has been suggested many times but most notably  in this new movie adaptation. Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal has been called "inauthentic" because of the implications of his performance, but some of Watson's observations in "A Study in Scarlet" provide crediblity to the claim, as Watson notes: "Nothing could exceed his energy when the working fit was upon him; but now and again a reaction would seize him, and for days on end he would lie upon the sofa in the sitting-room, hardly uttering a word or moving a muscle from morning to night."






Let’s say something about the setting. The Tower Bridge still being built, Ritchie's London is gloomy, smoky, wet and portrayed as metallic and grey. Impressive photography.











So, did I like it? I enjoyed myself. No sense of guilt, I was amused and entertained.



N.B.No offence is meant to purists or to spectators with different opinions.




I only have one regret:  dubbing. I mean, it was strange, they spoke Italian (though Holmes’s voice was an excellent one, Luca Ward’s) . So I promised myself I'll have to watch it again, in the original version, as soon as the DVD is released.

12 comments:

Ms. Lucy said...

Hi there!! I so want to see this one. Thanks for ytour review. I always love the beautiful photos you post.
Besides that, I just dropped by to give you my good wishes di Buon Natale e Felice Capo d'anno. Big Hugs to you!!
Lucy

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@MsLucy
Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo anche a te , Lucy! Enjoy your holidays. Hugs.MG

Luciana said...

I'm so happy you liked it! Really! Having a good opinion about a movie is always nice! I've enjoyed all the movies by Guy Ritchie I watched so far and I'm a HUGE fan of SH, so I hope I won't be disappointed! Funny thing: I've always imagined a Watson quite like Jude Law! My Holmes however is very different from Robert Downey Jr. Oh, I've always disliked Watson's wife, she took him from Holmes! And now that I see she's Caroline Bingley I can maximize my dislike! Sorry you had to watch it in the dubbed version, I just hate to watch dubbed movies!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Luciana
This is my first Ritchie's movie but I must confess I didn't think I would like it. Instead, not bad at all. It is a very amusing and well made modern movie inspired to Conan Doyle's character. Watson's future wife is not a bad character, very smart and strong-willed and gorgeous indeed.

lunarossa said...

HI MG, Back in freezing UK. Hope you had a nice Christmas. I went to see this film on Boxing Day in Italy and although I do not like watching dubbed films I liked it. Being a Guy Ritchie's movie I expected something of this kind, a lot of action and subtle humour. I wasn't disappointed, although like you I missed the original language, especially Downey Jr' and Jude Law's beautiful voices! Ciao. A.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@lunarossa
Welcome back, then! Are your holidays already over? I hope you'll have other relaxing moments before going back to work. Was your Italian holiday good? Really hope so. As for this movie, as I've written in the post I liked it, rather unexpectedly.
Ciao, A. Non soffrire troppo il freddo britannico. Un caldo abbraccio! MG

JaneGS said...

Thanks for this review--we are definitely seeing it New Years Eve, but I've been wondering whether I will actually like it. Sounds like I will--not a big fan of fight scenes, but if well-done, etc., they can add a lot to a movie like this.

Can't wait!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@JaneGS
Ok, Jane. Let us know what you think of it! I'll check your blog.

mrskarenblixen said...

I'm just back from the cinema, and I must say I enjoyed watching the movie: as a fan of Guy Ritchie's, I hoped so, but wasn't sure about the subject (not a SH purist, I'm afraid).
I've been lucky to find a theatre where I could get the v.o. version, instead of the dubbed one, and that was a very good thing. Loved the 'locations' and the gloomy and grey London depicted in the movie, although that was the same impression I got by watching A Christmas Carol yesterday night ;-)
I agree with you, MG, about the main couple - which reminded me of The Persuaders, BTW ;-P - and the ladies. Loved to see back Mark Strong - one of my favourite Knightleys - as a baddie, for a change. And talking about spotting people, did you recognize the actor playing the red-haired constable? He's Boucher from N&S, as well as a guest star in one of the first eps of RH3...
BFN, *hugs*,
KB

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Mrskarenblixen
As usual, YOU are unbeatable! Not only SH in this movie.
You saw it in the o.v.! 1-0
You recognized Boucher in the red-haired constable! 2-0
You also saw "A Christmas Carol"! 3-0
Fortunately, we are not competing, aren't we? We are friends, aren't we? Sweet dreams and thanks for dropping by. Hugs.

mrskarenblixen said...

Competing, us? Why?
Of course we are friends *hugs*, although I'm often a bit envious of you... but you already know it!
BTW, if you happen to go and see A Christmas Carol, watch it in 3D, it's mandatory! :-)
Have a nice day, MG: hope to hear from you soon,
xx KB

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@mrskarenblixen
Envious? Of me? I just wonder why... envious of my frantic, always-on-the-brink-of-a-nervous-breakdown life?Anyway, jokes apart, thanks for being such a dear friend... and so generous! Have a very good day, despite work.Kisses.