An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes deals with early dementia, as he tries to remember his final case, and a mysterious woman, whose memory haunts him. He also befriends a fan, the young son of his housekeeper, who wants him to work again.
The story is set in 1947, following a long-retired Holmes living in a Sussex village with his housekeeper and her young son. But then he finds himself haunted by 30-year old case. Holmes memory isn't what it used to be, so he only remembers fragments of the case: a confrontation with an angry husband, a secret bond with his beautiful but unstable wife. Written by
'Mr. Holmes' is a delightful film that managed to move me to almost tears, that's a feat worth the price of admission
When I first heard that they were making a new Sherlock Holmes movie with Ian McKellen playing an older Sherlock, I was instantly hooked. The posters and the trailers made me even more hyped for the film. Then came the problem. I looked up the film and the closest theater that was playing it was approximately 45 minutes away. So, with some convincing, and both myself and my mother's excitement for the film, we left at 9am on opening day to go see the film. So, after all this effort to see this film and all the excitement, was the film as good as we expected it to be?
Mr. Holmes follows a 93 year-old Sherlock Holmes as he lives retired in a Sussex farmhouse with his housekeeper, Mrs. Munro and her son, Roger. Sherlock is trying to write the truth about his last case before he dies, due to John's embellishment of the facts, but he has trouble remembering how the case ended. With the help of Roger and some small tricks up his sleeve, he will write the truth about his final case and how it ended his career, but also let him know that he has a compassionate side as well.
I was so hyped for this movie, because who wouldn't be hyped to see Ian McKellen, the aging god of acting, playing one of the best known characters of all time? Of course, Ian McKellen did amazing as a 93 year-old and a 60 year-old Sherlock Holmes, and he did a great job at portraying the character in two different stages of his life: One when his mind was immaculate, and one where his mind cannot be trusted. Milo Parker as young Roger was brilliant. I wasn't expecting much, given he's a child actor, and those are usually hit- or-miss, but he really nailed the role.
Laura Linney, as well, did a fantastic job. I didn't really like her character for the first half of the film, but she redeemed herself by film's end. Hattie Morahan does a wonderful job as the woman that Sherlock is trying to remember about, and her character just does something so beautifully tragic that you can't help but feel somewhat sorry for her and sad at the end of the film. Hiroyuki Sanada plays a man Sherlock visits to get some weeds to help his memory, and also a man who has ties to Sherlock's past. He did a great job as well.
The cinematography and locations for shooting in this film are just breathtaking. Several shots of characters down by the beach look gorgeous, and the Sussex farmhouse in which Sherlock has retired looks beautiful at all times. The music in this film, done by Carter Burwell was also really moving. It was particularly light-hearted at times, but also very poignant when it needed to be.
The screenplay, written by Jeffrey Hatcher was quite well done. The lines all felt natural, and when at times dialogue needed to be told through exposition and such, it never felt forced like it sometimes does. It felt like a conversation real people could be having. I really liked the story and the mystery aspect of the film as well. It really worked on so many levels and it kept you intrigued and guessing right until the end.
I'd also like to mention the make-up used to age Ian McKellen even further for his role as the 93 year-old Sherlock. When he looks as he usually does, McKellen doesn't really look 93 yet. But, when he is done up in the make-up and such, he looks fantastic.
Overall, Mr. Holmes is a brilliant film and one that truly deserves to be a part of the Holmes canon. It nearly reduced me to tears by the end, and most movies where they are actually trying to don't end up making me sad at all. Ian McKellen was brilliant as Sherlock Holmes, and so was the rest of the cast. The music, the cinematography, the screenplay, the mystery and the make-up all were amazing and it elevated this film far higher than anybody could have truly expected. If you have one film to see this weekend: See Mr. Holmes, as it is a film that you must see to appreciate.
10/10. Grade: A+
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