Friday, July 31, 2015

Movie Review - "Mr. Holmes"

Are you getting a bit tired of summer spectacle movies? I know I am and we still have a least the new Mission Impossible movie to go.  Take a break and go see the wonderful "Mr. Holmes.

It's 1947 in post-war England. Sherlock Holmes, now 93 years old, has retired to the countryside with a housekeeper and her young son. He lives a quiet life, taking the occasional dip in the sea and taking care of his beloved bees. And he is writing, or trying to write, the story of his last case, "The Case of The Lady in Grey", which happened some 30 years before. Holmes has long been dissatisfied with Watson's version of the story and wants to put the record straight. The problem is, he can't remember what actually happened. He remembers that he badly bungled the case and this is why he retired.

The movie unfolds on two tracts. In 1947, Holmes, old and ill, makes friends with young Roger, his housekeeper's son. He instructs him on how to take care of the bees and allows the boy to read the manuscript of the story he is slowly writing. In turn, the boy gives him friendship and helps him with his memory.

The second track takes place 30 years before in a different post-war England. The story of the Lady in Grey is told in these flashbacks. A much younger and more sure-of-himself Holmes takes on a case from a young man who believes his wife, the Lady in Grey, is lying to him about her activities.

Ian McKellen is just wonderful as Sherlock Holmes in both tracks of the story. We meet him as a crabby old man, just returned from a difficult journey to Japan. He slowly thaws and becomes friendly with the boy. Young actor Milo Parker is very engaging as Roger. This is only his third movie. I couldn't tell from his IMDB page but I guess he is about 10 years old. Watch out for this kid.
The third major character in the story is Roger's mother, Mrs. Munro, played by Laura Linney. Her story is that she lost her husband to the war and is very protective of Roger. She distrusts Holmes' interest in Roger and see him as trying to take away her boy, the only thing she has left. 

This may not be in the theaters long so go and see it soon.

1 comment:

Fuji said...

Great review. After watching the BBC version of Sherlock... I've been hooked on anything and everything Holmes. Just finished up watching the first two seasons of Elementary... and totally look forward to seeing this movie.