Sherlock Holmes

1. Analysis of the book

Sherlock Holmes, the popular story by Arthur Canon Doyle, which spanned four novels and 56 short stories, in addition to an estimated 25,000 continuations produced since the story was written, concerns an uber-detective named Sherlock Holmes. Doyle’s stories, such as “The Mazarin Stone,” revolve around Holmes’ innate ability to solve mysteries with help from his friend, Watson. There are a few aspects that make Sherlock Holmes so timeless, which include the eccentricity of Holmes’ character, the supreme duo of Holmes and Watson and the humor infused in the stories, which usually comes from Holmes and his witticisms.

2. Analysis of the film

The 2009 film version of Sherlock Holmes by Guy Ritchie, titled “Sherlock Holmes,” starring Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes, Jude Law as Dr. Watson and Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler, has style, energy and a Hollywood appeal from its quick pace and violence over its running time of two hours. The film takes place in the Victorian era and the plot hinges on Holmes defeating an evil villain in Lord Blackwood and saving the world. Overall, the movie benefits from the great chemistry between Downey Jr. and Law, while McAdams also plays her role well. Through nonstop action, loud scenes and catchy background music and a story line that seems to set itself up for a sequel (which came out in 2011), Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes is certainly watchable and entertaining.

3. Analysis of the adaptation

Ritchie’s version of Sherlock Holmes is his own spin on Doyle’s popular series, which ultimately falls short of recreating the excitement of a Sherlock Holmes mystery because of Ritchie’s commitment to making “cool” films that resonate with the public, instead of paying homage to the original. As covered in lecture, Ritchie’s attempt at Sherlock Holmes can be called a reboot, not an adaptation. First, Ritchie takes the movie in an interesting direction by placing it in the Victorian era. Also, violence is prevalent in the movie—seemingly an attempt to appeal to the youth and those interested in action movies—while violence, certainly not to the same extent, isn’t incorporated into Holmes’ sleuthing in Ritchie’s stories. Another new aspect is the save-the-world plot, leaving it up to Holmes to take down Lord Blackwood and his followers. Yet, the film captures Holmes’ eccentricity from the stories, as well as his witty humor. However, even the relationship between Holmes and Watson seems off—resembling too much of a “bromance”—not to mention the creation of the characters, Irene Adler and Mary Morstan, which is just one of the reasons why Ritche’s Sherlock Holmes should be considered a reboot and nothing else. 

4. Online research on the film 

http://www.sherlock-holmes.org.uk/society/society.php

This website is about the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, which told me how much of an influence Sherlock Holmes has on society, but you can also find monthly newsletters, news, events and the history of Sherlock Holmes in cinema, radio and television.

http://dspace.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/854/1/Sherlock-Holmes-and-Expertise.pdf

This essay offers an interesting perspective on the expertise of Sherlock Holmes.

http://www.sherlockian.net/

This is another Sherlock fan website, but there’s so much information and links on here, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in, or interested in learning more about Sherlock Holmes. For example, some of the tabs on the website include, “The original Sherlock Holmes stories,” “Sherlockian resources on the web,” “Pictures, sounds, games,” “Books, reviews and libraries,” “Pastiches, parodies, new stories,” and “Frequently asked questions.” Browsing this website, I came across the address for another website, http://sherlockholmes.ning.com/forum, which is an active Sherlock Holmes forum and another useful tool to increase one’s knowledge of Sherlock Holmes.

5. Critical analysis paragraph

We see twice in the film Holmes’s clinical application of violence. Which does it show better: Holmes’s brilliant intellect, or his masculine physicality? Or does it show both equally well?

In the film, there are many instances of violence, but there some that are unique from the rest, which display Holmes’ clinical application of violence and tell the viewer about Ritchie’s intended tone and purpose of the movie. In a couple physical altercations with opponents, Holmes, before actually fighting, visualizes (in a narration) the physical maneuvers he will use and then in real time, executes the moves flawlessly. This shows both his brilliant intellect, in how and where to strike an opponent and masculine physicality, because without his strength and instincts, those moves couldn’t be pulled off. He would have never been able to bring down his half-naked adversary in the Fight Club-resembling ring fight. These examples and the many other instances of violence in the film indicates the importance of violence and “cool” factor to Ritchie, who created a modern film for today’s youth and action-craving audience, as well as one reverent enough for Holmes devotees that hopefully they could appreciate.

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One response to “Sherlock Holmes

  1. Nicely done all around. Good job. 10/10. JB.

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