Watson is finding hard to lodge with his best friend and uncanny sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. Not just because of the weird ways, Holmes employs to solve the cases, but because Watson nuptials are in the offing and it is the time to take the next turn for a more ordered life. These are the times, when ‘Sherlock Holmes’ story opens in the Doyle’s medieval England.
Watson is aspiring get order in his life, at this instance in the form of a woman, sensible and beautiful Mary Morstan. But boys will be boys. Holmes throws subtle tantrums like a neglected child, but then he will come around. In the mean time, he will try to deviate Watson with the newest and groundbreaking case of Lord Blackwood, who rises from the grave and wants to take control of the world and more accurately future.
Guy Ritchie, who has the greatest gift of infusing choreography in his staying-true-to-London-roots ambience and vibrant inter-cut screenplay, paces through the pre-modern London with cockney accented cops and genuine witty humored writing. Ritchie has a great gift for music too, as he uses the different scores of Hans Zimmer with precision of movie’s moods. While holmes indulges himself with a disproportionately large pugilist, there is the music of irish folklore. In the climactic titles, there is a very peppy score, which rings with zest.
However amidst all his gifted style, Ritchie never forgets the brotherly camaraderie between Holmes and Watson. It excels owing to the terrific performances from the duo, Downey Jr and Jude Law. Ritchie, who has this inherent gambling streak of casting other nationals for British, scores hands down in the matter of Robert Downey Jr. it was his era with avengers, ironman series and holmes’ two movie episodes, which all worked because of his feisty energy, which lights up the whole plot.
As Holmes, he ribs with his doctor friend, teases the genial and idiotic Lestrade, takes the whole order members for a ride, while being a constant pain in the arse of Blackwood. His chemistry with Irene Adler has a comic touch to it, as he is always alert around her, knowing about her intuition, but at the same time, as a confused mess of attracted lover, he fumbles around her. However, when the matters of emergency arise, he can go through the mill to save her life. though there maybe a very little undiscernible smidgeon of his accent not passing the muster, he deviates the flaw by his eccentric portrayal of Holmes. Ritchie paints Holmes uncaring, pampered (by watson), unkempt and breaking the rules type, while the books portrayed him as a drug fiend, yet dignified, in search for clues to commiserate him cravings.
Ritchie’s London strays true to the period, owing to some terrific art direction (James Foster, Nick Gottschalk, matthew Gray, Niall Moroney), which shows muddy cluttered roads, dilapidated buildings, grimy windows, dark abattoirs but at the other end of urban spectrum, an inspiring skyline against Thames, wrought iron laden dockyard, in-repair bridges with lot of metallurgical details. All this bigger picture of the city suffuses the viewer with the nostalgic warmth of the lost-London, which makes it easy to immerse in the adventures of our favorite detective hero.
Jude Law, probably goes a notch up over Downey Jr, as his Watson has more warmth and vibrancy to the character, than we can hope for. Mark Strong makes a terrific Lord Blackwood, but then we couldn’t just overlook the real purpose of the movie – Holmes’s deductive powers and the case’s credibility in holding his attention. The latter is very easily answered with the groundbreaking storyline, which the writers employ. But if we should talk about the deductive powers, they aren’t so groundbreaking. Holmes’s definitely bowls over his captors, who ride him through the London roads in a dark cloth over his head, by his deductions along the way. And he knows the identities of the people he had just met by his histrionically accurate observations, but when the real plot of the story matters, Ritchie fails to hold the audience with a crisp dishing of holmes’s deciphering. It comes in the end and in a deluge, but to be fair, it is not at all bad.
This is a movie, which had the good fortune of landing in Ritchie’s lap, because if there is anyone, who understands the streets of London better, it’s him. This is the movie’s masterstroke, of how he relates even the famous detective of the world with his roots and London’s. He does it in a flair fashion, exemplified by his crisp deconstruction of physical destruction of a man, detailing from sinews to bones. This is the device and London is the spirit. And Ritchie emphatically infuses them both with aplomb.