Sunday, August 02, 2015

Mr. Holmes

Last weekend was a weekend for seeing movies. I’m trying to see more movies. Actually see the movies I’m interested in seeing. The big block busters are easy to see. You can wait a couple of weeks to see as long as they are popular. But art house films seem to have a shorter theater life. Or they end up showing in places that aren’t all that easy to get to.

I decided that I would see Mr. Holmes. I’d read a couple reviews and they liked the movie.

It is very well done. The basic plot is Holmes is trying to remember his last case. He’s trying to remember why he retired. He knows a few facts about the case but not the whole story (his memory is starting to go which he goes to great lengths to try and stop). For the first time he is writing down one of his own cases. All of the cases in the past had been written by Dr. Watson.

He has retired to a sea side cottage which he shares with his housekeeper Mrs. Mun­ro played by Laura Linney and her son Roger played by Milo Parker.

For a man who prides himself on his powers of observation not being able to remember is devastating. He is going to great lengths to try and stave this off.

From the review in the Post:
Directed by Bill Condon (“Kinsey”), the movie leaps back and forth in time, incorporating another thread involving Holmes’s recent trip to Japan in search of a rare plant to cure his dementia. Like any good Sherlockian case, the stories interweave into a satisfying conclusion. And the cinematic elements fit together as neatly as the plot lines. Carter Burwell’s music, combined with the film’s cloudy landscape shots (courtesy of cinematographer Tobias Schliessler, who worked with Condon on “Dreamgirls”) add to a sense of nostalgia. McKellen is impeccable as the aging investigator, who has always prized logic over emotions. And the young Parker holds his own in every scene he shares with his elder.
Holmes bonds with Roger getting Roger interested in the bees that Holmes keeps. Holmes also opens up to Roger about the case he is trying to remember. The scenes with these two are just fantastic. I agree with the review that Parker more than holds his own with both his co-stars.

The flashbacks of Holmes remembering the story are very well done. Here we see Holmes at his best. That brings the present into an even sharper perspective.

Holmes finally remembers what happened with his last case. His logic solves the case but he forgot to take into account the human factor, the emotional factor, which leads to a tragic ending. Something he's never been able to recover from. Thus the reason for his retirement.

There is an interesting twist at the end where Holmes has to solve one more mystery involving an accident that happens to Roger. We finally see Holmes emotional side. He and Mrs. Munro are waiting in the hospital to hear how Roger is doing. As the doctor comes out they both grab hold of each other hands. It is a small gesture but shows just how much Holmes has been changed by these two people.

Go and enjoy. This is a fantastic movie.

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