Sherlock Holmes – a Games of Shadow
An eye on the 2011 film by Guy Ritchie, starring Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr.
I am aware I will make any purist revolt, but my favourite Sherlock Holmes is Robert Downey Jr’s one.
Second on the list, Benedict Cumberbatch’s, but I am afraid narcissism is getting in the way of my appreciation for it. What I appreciate in Guy Ritchie’s films about the world’s most famous detective is the creativity. While BBC Sherlock basically picks the high knowledge of late Victorian London and transforms it in nowadays London, the scripts for Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes- A Game of Shadows radically twisted the original in its original setting. The most evident characteristic of the protagonist is the stereotype of genius and disorderliness brilliantly portrayed in a way that results amusing instead of annoying. I have always wondered what would have been like if Conan Doyle had lived nowadays, and would have had what came after him as influences and no need to write with a calm Victorian fancy. I highly doubt the result would be that different from Robert Downey Jr’s Sherlock. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself would have been a different man, in the end.
The cast in both films is amazing, especially Stephen Fry as Mycroft in A Game of Shadows; all actors work perfectly in the peculiar filming way of Guy Ritchie. His abuse of slow-motion may result annoying to most, but I find it very interesting. I am not a fan of violence and action in films, but I stand it in the overall result. It is perfectly balanced with the laughs, and the setting is so beautiful all the time it is really distracting when the action sequences are not shot as close-ups. I will never forget the Satanic pony.
The final credits are worth becoming a film themselves, awesome graphic. It’s my favourite part of the film.
It is obviously a series of film made to please the broader public, but it does it in an elegant way lost from a long time. I had been very happy to know the machine for Sherlock Holmes 3 is already on the run, and I am the kind of snobbish person you see in small essay cinemas watching (again) strange Russian films like The Russian Arc and liking them.