Mr. Holmes is a film adaptation of Mitch Collin’s 2005 novel, A Slight Trick of the Mind. Set in 1947, the story is about differentiating the real Holmes from the man of the myths. The film portrays Sherlock Holmes as an aged retiree, living in the remote countryside in Sussex with his housekeeper and her son, apparently content with his pursuit of beekeeping.
Unhappy with his ex-partner’s misrepresentation of him and wishing to finally solve the case involving the tragedy of a young married woman that forced his retirement before he too meets his end, he searches for answers with the help of his housekeeper’s son, Rogers, all the while struggling with limitations that old age brings.
From the outset, you are in for a treat as you see Arthur Conan Doyle’s marvelous character as a 93-year old grave looking figure and instead of a nefarious villain, you will see him fighting old age and regret over something he cannot remember.
Ian McKellen does a great job in the leading role, just like he did 35 years before in another Sherlock movie, with the dialogues as well as the acting feeling natural. He does make it feel as if he has lived all his life as Sherlock. An Oscar nomination, at the least, can be expected. The movie is has its share of light moments, such as when we see the character watching a black and white movie, featuring his character, at a local cinema, apparently unimpressed by the performance.
The story has a fascinating and graceful taste to it and the indirect approach to the narrative garners a viewer’s interest but Sherlock fans might be put off by the slow pace of the story. It contrasts with the typical straightforward approach, as you see in the BBC TV Series Sherlock. Overall, the movie is moving, professionally played, and a good blend of comedy and drama, perhaps the finest Sherlock Holmes adaptation put on the silver screen as yet.
Photo credit: Mr. Holmes Film