30 January 2010

Sherlock Holmes

I've always loved Sherlock Holmes books. His keen observation and sharp analytical skills made him a true legend. I also love Agatha Christie books; she apparently was not much impressed with Sherlock Holmes though. So she created a total antithesis of him in looks as well as style - Hercule Poirot. Someone who is a dandy as opposed to Holmes' total neglect of hygiene and apparel and who abhors typical detective tools and habits such as going down on his knees to look for foot and finger prints.

But, this post is about Holmes. His various idiosyncrasies, his restless intellect, scary mood swings, penchant for experimenting with drugs on himself as well as his dog, his peculiar friendship with Dr. Watson and his restrained obsession with his female adversary - Irene Adler. The script-writer has stuck to the basics loyally but has let his imagination run riot to make Holmes into a modern-day Bond-like figure. He has taken some liberties in both the picturization as well as characterization of Holmes and all the other characters. Director Guy Ritchie lends full support to bring alive this imagination. The pace of the movie is fast and gripping. Holmes and Watson are much more physically active and adventurous. Revolvers and pistols are seen, and used, often throughout the movie. Also, both Holmes and Watson are much more vulnerable to emotions of friendship and love. Even Holmes' home - 221B Baker street is quite aesthetic. It must've been a treat to watch this movie on a big screen.

The story itself is not from any of the usual cases of Sherlock Holmes. It is about black magic and threatens to disappoint by dueling between magic and science. Holmes' preoccupation with Adler takes away from his larger-than-life and eccentric personality. But, Ritchie does not digress from the original character traits; though his treatment is vastly different and quite refreshing. Makes you think what if Arthur Conan Doyle had portrayed his hero in such a light? What if Holmes had a romantic soul alongwith his keenly analytical mind?

Tight direction, interesting story and some great action makes this a must-watch thriller.

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