Friday, May 18, 2012

Sherlock Holmes

Vogue May 2012

Sherlock is back! And I, for one, couldn't be happier. He's smart, intense, quick, and goooood-lookin'!

What makes this Sherlock different from the rest ... hmmmm ... well, I certainly like the Guy Ritchie - Robert Downey Jr. movies that have come out in the last few years. Downey is always some one to watch on the big screen. But he's ... old fashioned. And his tricks and the fast pacing of the films sort of gloss over ... any real connections between Sherlock and the other characters (uh, wasn't that was the problem in Ritchie's marriage with Madonna?). Oh sure, he's got his befuddled and endearing friend Watson, played by Jude Law in his typical strange stuttered delivery that sort of works. But other than that, the screen is awash in big bombs of action and chase. It's great stuff for a hot summer afternoon in the theater with a blanket of air conditioning and a tub of popcorn, but that's about what it is in total.

Relationships are front and center in the BBC's Sherlock Holmes. Oh, he's got his smart phone that always plays into the action somehow, but it's his interactions with others that is so compelling. Watson is a force to contend with in this version. He does not hesitate to be the decoy or go into the eye of the storm to uncover a clue. He's great ... like the Vogue review says, he gives it right back to Sherlock, he's definitely no Robin.

Mycroft Holmes giving his younger brother the stink eye.

One of my favorite characters is Sherlock's brother Mycroft. From my understanding, Mycroft is typically portrayed as someone of equal or greater intellect, but without the ambition that Sherlock has to use it to uncover truths. Not our Mycroft. He's certainly clever, and he's in step with his little brother, but in a more formal situation ... as a government worker. But he isn't any ordinary government worker, he is deep in the knickers of secrets and lies of the Crown. And he always knows exactly where Sherlock is! and Watson for that matter. He may be a little dorky, but I kind of think that he's one cool cat!

Moriarty ... kind of cute to be a nemesis

Moriarty is also faced. He is not invisible. His cat and mouse game with Sherlock is unpredictable. He seems so normal, and is so not. He has a boyish playfulness that is more ... charming than what I would expect from a diabolical nemesis. He and Sherlock have a genuine affection of sorts of one another. They each look over their shoulders and hope that the other is paying attention. It's a an enchanting dance these two have.

I don't know which mystery Sherlock will face from the canon of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle next, and it doesn't really even matter. Stick these characters in a room without any plot, and I think that they would manage nicely on their own in creating a drama worth viewing.

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