Since I have seen this movie twice now, I thought it would be best to review it. I have talked to lots of people about the movie, and most of them have never seen it/heard of it, so, here you are, this is a movie called Mr. Holmes, starring Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes, in his years of retirement, after closing his last case.
My movie reflections are usually very disjointed and unorganized, so I have decided to, starting with this one, organize them into five categories, to cover all the bases separately and maybe a little less confusingly! I am also going to provide you with a movie trailer for each movie I review, or at least, try to! Here is the link to this one's trailer. It should also take you to the IMDb page for the movie, if you're interested! All right, here we go.
I personally didn't see much to warn against in this category. It is a rather depressing, very sad film, and leaves the viewer with a heavy feeling, so that is one thing to keep in mind. There was no improperly used language, no inappropriate content. The little boy was rude to his mother, but Mr. Holmes tells him to go and apologize, and everything is righted in the end. Someone is attacked by wasps--we don't see the actual attack, but the results, the person (can't say who, because of spoilers) looks pretty bad and is unconscious afterwards, so if that makes you squeamish then it's pretty easy to see coming. A woman is hit by a train, but we don't actually see it. Other than that, there is a bit of Japanese sort of almost religious stuff going on. A few characters put stones in circles around themselves, each stone representing a dead person, and bow to the sky or whatever, paying homage to their lost friends, but it doesn't get too weird. It actually didn't feel too spirit-y or strange and almost felt fitting, for that particular film, which takes place right after Hiroshima. Not saying I agree with the idea behind the homage to the dead, but it didn't bother me as much as it could have in a different setting.
Although it is a great story, it made me a little sad, because a great portion of the story focuses on *slight spoilers* Sherlock losing some of his memory. He can't remember how his last case ended, and is trying to write it down, to correct Watson's glamorized version before he dies. The film is pretty much centered on Holmes trying to remember (and eventually succeeding) to figure out what went wrong with his very last case, what caused him to stop being a detective. The movie switches back and forth between the current time, where Holmes lives in his house by the sea, taking care of his bees and writing the chronicle of his last case, while the housekeeper and her son take care of the home, and the past, the memories of his last case and such. It's a rather melancholy story, but the ending, although serious, is hopeful as well. The plot is well-woven, beautifully executed, and everything makes perfect sense. I think that a lot of it is about remembering the past, even though things have changed. It is simply a beautifully told story, and even I, the pickiest of pickers, can't find any plot holes or things that I would have wanted to be done differently.
Even though Sir Ian McKellen is and always will be Gandalf in my opinion, he did a really fantastic job at portraying an old Sherlock Holmes. He was funny, clever, and just a very likeable character, very well portrayed. The little boy, Roger, was fun, and the boy who played him did a very good job. Of course, I don't like the way that he spoke to his mother and his attitude toward her at some times, but I am glad that they were eventually reconciled. And his friendship with Holmes, sort of replacing Watson's helping hands, was very sweet.
Roger's mother was a great character as well, and her actress did a great job of seeming like a very real mother, a real person. There were several other characters, mainly during the flashbacks of Holmes' last case as he chronicles it. They were sort of the usual characters that one would find in a Sherlock Holmes story: good, well portrayed, easy to sympathize with, but not the kind that you get super attached to. Don't get me wrong, they were great! But they weren't the main point of the film. I really missed Watson, though--to me, it seems that Sherlock isn't Sherlock without Watson. At the time of this film, Holmes is 92 years old, and Watson is dead, though he appears (without dialogue) in some of the flashbacks. I have always liked Watson...I guess that might just be my preference, though.
10/10. It is beautifully done, aesthetically pleasing, and the cinematography is wonderful. Also, the music is perfect, I love it so much! It's very unique, and fits the movie perfectly.
When I first saw this in the theater three years ago, I immediately loved it. Now that I have re-watched it, I still love it. Even though it is not based off of an official Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story, it is, I think, a worthy addition to the Sherlock Holmes canon. It is a sobering watch, with almost depressing realism added to some of the plot--even Sherlock Holmes can't save everyone; he can't redeem every person he solves a case about--but I think that it was beautifully done. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who loves Sherlock Holmes, or anyone who has heard of Sherlock Holmes, or really anyone at all. It is a gripping story, and a very excellent film.