Images by Paramount Pictures
Sherlock Holmes is a name that most people around the world know. Sure, most people probably haven’t read any of the books with this character, but he has been portrayed countless times on both TV and the big screen. He’s one of England’s most renowned detectives and has an accomplice in Dr. Watson. Holmes is known for his deductive prowess as well as his playing of the violin to help him focus his mind while putting the pieces of a mystery together. All of this is fairly common knowledge. So, after hearing that a new version was being made with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, I was wondering how well they would be able to update this for the 21st century yet keep all of the history we know of him intact. To my surprise, this movie blew me away and changed forever the way we might picture Sherlock Holmes when hearing his name.
When most of us hear the name of Sherlock Holmes, we immediately might picture a proper Englishman. He would always be dressed to impress. His manners would be beyond reproach. Hearing him play the violin would be near that of a virtuoso. His friendship with Dr. Watson would be close to that of twin brothers. He would fight with his words and never his fists. Throw all of these images away. As portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. in this fresh reimaging of this classic character, Sherlock Holmes is completely the opposite of everything you might have thought he would be. This Holmes feeds off of his work and the cases he is involved in. When not on a case, he lacks focus and his mind looks for anything to help occupy its constant need for knowledge. He doesn’t really play the violin but only plucks at it yet has all of the musical knowledge to make him a true prodigy. His speech is nothing short of an Oxford scholar but his dress and cleanliness leave something to be desired. His skill at fighting and boxing make him a formidable opponent. However, all of this works perfectly because he is still the greatest detective that has ever lived. No detail goes unnoticed.
The greatest asset Holmes has is his partner, Dr. Watson. He is the yin to Holmes’ yang, the black to his white, two halves of the same whole. One without the other is incomplete. Being a fan of the TV show House, I couldn’t help but make the comparison of Holmes and Watson to that of Dr. Gregory House and his best friend Wilson. In both cases, both Watson and Wilson help to keep Holmes and House grounded and they know exactly how the other one thinks. No matter how much Holmes and House insult, humiliate, or try to push the other away, Watson and Wilson stay by their friends and are always there for them. Law plays the part perfectly and makes the perfect compatriot of this modern version of Holmes.
I don’t want to go into any details of the story here, because the best part of a Sherlock Holmes story is the mystery. This plot kept my mind thinking and wondering what was happening and how it was going to be solved. There is an element of the occult in this film and I had no idea how it was going to be played out. I was glad that I didn’t know anything about the story before seeing it myself and then when he solves his case, everything made perfect sense. Set all of your preconceived notions you might have about this literary giant aside and be prepared to meet the 21st century version of Sherlock Holmes. I can’t wait to see what he’s up against next.