08 January 2010

Sherlock Holmes

It is unfortunate that in my life I have only read the collection of Holmesian short-stories which revolve around some hapless person coming to Holmes with a problem. After which, Holmes talks out the explanation for three or four pages without ever leaving 221B Baker Street. Next story.

Which, if the 'unfortunate' in the above paragraph didn't clue you in, kind of sucked. I was never exposed to the finer Holmes stories, Cleolinda assures me they exist, so never understood the fan love.

What this boils down to is I went into the Sherlock Holmes movie with incredibly low expectations.

The movie's basic plot picks up partway through the Sherlock Holmes adventures. Watson is about to move out and marry Mary, Holmes has previously met Irene Adler and he is quite famous already as a detective. The movie opens on an occult ritual being performed by the villainous Lord Blackwood who is apprehended (maybe even on purpose). The main plot revolves around the fact that after being hung for the practice of black magic and murder - in that order I might add - Lord Blackwood rises from the grave to continue being a total badass wizard.*

*Some or all of those facts may have been dramatized for the purposes of this review.

I don't want to go too far into it as the movie is worth watching with as few spoilers as possible (unlike, for example Avatar whose plot you could see coming for miles). I will say that the supernatural plot points have an explanation that won't make you want to throw things.

But what I really want to talk about is HoYay!, cause whoa and damn. If I wasn't as familiar as I am with Holmes I would think they spent all of their off screen time making out. I did actually lean over to my mother partway to whisper "Oh just kiss already". But Holmes is asexual, and I do think that the relationship between Holmes and Watson is a reflection on Holmes's complete inability to form a normal human attachment. He quite simply has no clue how to handle normal human emotions, and the feelings of brotherly love for Watson manifest in odd ways.

On that note, I am choosing to interpret the Irene/Sherlock love as a lot closer to the book's portrayal. I do beleiev that Adler cerainly harbors affection, perhaps lust, for Holmes. But Holmes is more fascinated by her methods, and while his body reacts to her as a woman, his mind is apart from it. They have two kisses, one instigated by Adler while Holmes is unconscious, and one of a more fatherly/brotherly nature from Holmes (not on lips). I originally took the line about Adler getting their old room as a deliberate attempt to misdirect Holmes' brain, when the room in question was the scene of a crime or heist perhaps.

I did love love love the boxing and bartitsu. If you've never heard of bartitsu, it is a martial art that focuses on eastern fighting style with an emphasis on defense using your walking stick. That's right, Sherlock Holmes was considered a master of a martial art that would beat you to death with a cane. The boxing and bartitsu are canon, and often forgotten about amidst the tweed and deerstalker hats.

I truly deeply enjoyed this movie, have already seen it twice in fact. I can highly recommend it to both Doyle fans and people's whose only knowledge of Holmes is the phrase 'no shit Sherlock'.

1 comment:

  1. The movie was flippin awesome and I can't wait to see it again. I haven't read any of the Sherlock Holmes novels or stories but now I want to. Amazon has the Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection for $10 :)