Friday, May 18, 2012

Movie Review (and ramblings of sort) - Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Sherlock Holmes has been, and always will be, one of my most beloved fictional characters ever existed IN BOOK. Honestly speaking, I think he is in my Top 3 of fan-girl-and-crush-worthy book characters that I have ever read. At one point in my life, I swear, I even declared myself a Sherlockian (group of people that worship him so bad, they could’ve made a cult out of it). I recall putting ‘Sherlockian-wannabe’ in almost every description box my internet social life has given me. But then, I got over my madness (well, almost). However, I know that he will always have a big space in my otherwise crowded-and-over-occupied fan girl heart for books.

I bought every single Sherlock Story and Novels written by the HOLY (Oh bless him for creating Sherlock)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Of course it helped that it was available in volumes, so I didn’t have to scour book store after book store just to complete the whole package. And on top of that, I even impulsively bought a guide/bedside companion to the whole series. A feat, because I don’t usually thought of ever buying companion-books and movie tie-ins ever since I can remember. So imagine how critical and sensitive I am every time it was being re-imagined/remade into live action.

Promo Proster // Source
I recently watched Sherlock Holmes 2 (A Game of Shadows) last weekend, and honestly here’s what I think:

Seeing fiction coming to life is such a bliss that when you’re at the moment, no matter how screwed some facts maybe, or no matter how far it deviates from the book, you were so happy you feel like crying. That’s what happens to me, when I watched it. But, after I settled down my emotions and my mind clear enough to think logically and reasonably, I started my assessments and reflections.

Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Homes and jude Law as John Watson // Source

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlockhomes and Martin Freeman as John Watson // Source
The second movie contains that same comical and serious feel, combined, that the first movie had. The script was impeccable as always. And the actors were PERFECT (though the age were inappropriate book wise). Robert Downy Jr. was perfect as Sherlock (but not as perfect as Benedict Cumberbatch has been in BBC’s series). And I have a massive crush on Jude Law that even when he seems under-aged for the role of Watson, he looks great to me whatever he does.

Sherlock and Watson // Source
The two have great chemistry together, and you can feel that when you watch them in action at the same screen. It was always never easy to bring to life that precious friendship that Watson and Sherlock shared, but I commend the production because they did their best on what little they could do and the end result was almost believable. What I love about this version was that they gave a certain emphasis on that relationship, that the loneliness of sort that Sherlock felt when Watson left him to marry was magnified. Robert Downy looking at Jude Law right after the marriage ceremony and catching his eye and giving him a small smile in return that was both warm and sad was pure genius.

On the down side, I find the film concentrating on action rather than the intellect-at-work theme of Sherlock stories. The slow mo action scenes in the first movie were a nice touch, but I didn’t expect that the second movie would be so full of those just because they became a hit in the first one. Somehow, I found that very clich├ęd. That technique was so used, that at one point, I ended up being fed up with everything and wished that those slow mo’s would somehow fast forward so we could resume in action. It was enjoyable, I admit, but a movie doesn’t always need to be full of action to be good and exciting. I just wished they preserved the intellectual story line more than they did, as it always has been.

Another thing that I don’t like (well, not really, but just felt uncomfortable with) is the way Sherlock act in front of Irene Adler. As an avid reader of the books, I know that she is a big part of Sherlock’s life but the movie interprets it into something more. He admired her for what she is and what she’s capable of – the kind of people that he typically admires, but it was magnified, because she IS a woman. And Sherlock respected her because of that. (See, he really despised woman and having Irene Adler gather that kind of respect from him is a feat beyond anyone’s ability, I guess). As Watson puts it: “to him, she would always be ‘the woman’”.  Sherlock admired the woman, that Watson sometime’s thinks that it was almost bordering on love. But Sherlock is an extremely objective and logical person that the only thing that shatters that is Watson. This quality is what makes him so unique and striking, but I think the movie interpreted it wrong.

RAchel McAdams  as Irene Adler // Source 
Oh well, I guess they think that heroes should always have their leading ladies. But nevertheless, Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler was a really nice choice. She was flawless. Except for the character detours from the book, which, I for myself think, are ‘major’ and affects me significantly as a fan. Nonetheless, the love story formed here is good, I can say. But I guess everyone has a different interpretation of all that happened. And this happens to be mine.

One of Sherlock's many disguises // Source
Gladstone, the poor dog // Source
In addition, I would just like to say how Sherlock’s disguises have been in the movie, I mean, seriously? A chair? And a wall? Haha. That cracked me up. And his ever enduring relationship with Watson’s dog, Gladstone. Goodness! The poor dog, he is damned in Sherlock’s company.

To end this review in a good note (because I am probably rambling), this is an enjoyable movie for everyone. Enjoy the bliss of watching Sherlock and Watson in action, even for a bit and you’ll find yourself drawn to the character. The movie would have been flawless in my eyes, but it just happens that I’ve read the books so I’m a little biased. Haha. But overall, it was good. A feast in eyes, and in the mind.

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