Film Review: Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows

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The Adventure of the Ritchie Photoplay

When it was over I turned to Holmes in anticipation of a reaction similar to my own. His face, however, was solemn, his eyes narrowed. He didn’t trouble himself to meet my gay expression, rather I had to be content to speak directly to his aquiline nose.

“Holmes!” said I, “wasn’t that simply magnificent? Have you ever seen the like?”

“No, I have not” said he, “and I would not wish to again.”

I was flabbergasted.

“But my dear fellow,” I protested, “you can’t have experienced anything like it before, it was sublime! Magical!”

“On the contrary,” said Holmes, his voice as steady and controlled as his gaze, “many a night have I enjoyed similar visions in what you would misconstrue as a narcotic stupor. In fact, the mind is opulent in ways that parlour tricks can not hope to match. However, what we’ve just seen, though an impressive manifestation of technology, can not, in any sense, by said to be a sophisticated entertainment. Libellous perhaps.”

“Libellous?” said I.

“Watson!” said Holmes, clearly agitated, “were you so enamoured that you failed to notice that the men on screen were fictionalised versions of you and I? Did you not see how our characters had been altered to persuade the spectator that I had a personality disorder and you, a grievance with it that made you ridiculous by association?”

“I saw Holmes,” I replied, “but they seemed like jolly fellows.”

“They were imbeciles, Watson,” said Holmes. “My method has been reduced to a series of asinine observations that a chicken could have made. There’s barely any deduction at all. Rather, it seems that the me of this photoplay is engaged in some kind of glorified orienteering exercise, following a simpleton’s clues from place to place and once arrived in each, content to dance and slide like a circus performer. I’m a consulting detective not an acrobat and magician!”

“I must say Holmes,” I said, trying to reassure my friend, “I think you’re being somewhat unfair. It seemed to me a good natured romp with an impressive line in photographic trickery.”

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Country: US

Year: 2011

Running Time: 128 mins

Certificate: 12A for an ill-advised drag act, exploding trees and strong Stephen Fry.

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