Vladimir bought the Sherlock Holmes Blu-ray about two weeks ago. Nearly every night since then he said, “I want to watch Sherlock Holmes tonight.” And nearly every night we pretty much ignored him, or told him it was too late, or something. Okay, to be honest we’d seen the movie before and so weren’t very motivated. But finally, a couple of nights ago, Vladimir announced that he was watching Sherlock Holmes with me, popped it in, and sat down. With my coat around my shoulders, because I was too cold and too lazy to get a blanket, I sat next to him.
I’d had mixed reactions to the trailers of the movies. This was not the Sherlock Holmes I was used to. You know, the uptight, hermetic, brilliant professor who can play the violin and doesn’t care much for social niceties. This was a manic, violent Holmes.
And during my first viewing of the movie, while I had to admit that I liked it, I held on to those reservations.
But now, having seen the movie a second time, I find I like this more manic Holmes. I could do with a little less violence, but I know that isn’t going to happen. This is a Hollywood movie after all. But Robert Downy Jr.’s portrayal is considerably more eccentric than any I’d seen before.
But, now I have to admit. I’ve never read anything Sir Arthur Conan Doyle actually wrote. I hardly watched any of the enactments either. I’m not a real fan of mysteries. Never did Nancy Drew, let alone the Hardy boys. I detested Scooby Doo on a number of levels. I’ve always switched away from the TV mystery series, unless they have some interesting gimmick or character, like Monk or Bones. Then the fun is in watching the characters, but not in the mystery. At least, for me.
My vision of Holmes had come from brief glimpses in culture. Maybe a movie or something way back sometime. And my idea was more wrong than the movie. I’ve now read a bit more of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and I’ll admit a trip to the Wikipedia.
Holmes is not just a quiet hermit. He wasn’t a snob. He is arrogant, it is because he can actually do all the things he thinks he can do and others can’t. I had actually wanted him to be more like Monk, but he was never that. Chaos reigned around him, but not in his head. He sometimes seemed a bit crazed to others, but he always figured things out. The fun in reading Conan Doyle’s mysteries is not in the solutions but in the character of Holme’s himself, and in his relationship with Watson.
Downy Jr’s Sherlock Holmes is closer to the original than any idea I’d ever had.
So it may be that I’ll be reading more of this. Thanks to the movie.