For Reel

Mr. Holmes (2015)
July 30, 2015, 8:22 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Bill Condon
4 Stars
Mr. HolmesIan McKellan gives a bold, fascinating performance as an elderly Sherlock Holmes trying to retrace the investigation that led to his retirement in Mr. Holmes. In flashback scenes, he carries himself with a refined elegance–his long, confident strides, the way he deftly handles his cane. As a radical contrast, the scenes in which Holmes is in his twilight years are interpreted with both a boyish sense of rebelliousness (he plays his relationship with a young boy (Milo Parker) as both a grandfather and as a partner-in-crime) and as a man of deep sadness and regret. It seems that the longer Holmes has operated as a vision of logic and reason, the more his emotional side has been neglected. As time passes, his unfulfilled longings manifest as the messiest and most unsolvable of mysteries. There’s a great deal in the film about the relationship between authenticity and mortality–it is revealed that his legend has become one of great embellishment. Similarly, the case that haunts Holmes is one in which he misjudges someone by assuming that he had all the answers until realizing too late that he had ultimately known nothing. If it ends a little too sweetly, Mr. Holmes is nonetheless an inspired take on a character that the world probably didn’t need another interpretation of.

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