This was amazing when you take all the cumulative Sherlock Holmes in movie/tv we have had in recent years. Ian Mc Kellan was great here playing the retired detective. I don’t normally praise a film outright but when you really think of the movie and the scope it entailed encompassing everything we know of Holmes, you can really appreciate how this movie is great.
Holmes goes off to his cabin in the woods and is taken care of by his housekeeper and her son but we have no idea why. Then slowly, the narrative opens up why he is here but this is just the beginning as we explore the why of his coming but also his relationship between the housekeeper and her son. It is this parallel narrative that makes the premise intriguing from the get-go. This is a movie that is much more about the how rather than the why. At the end of the day, the reason as to why he is here really doesn’t matter (sure its a nice reason but still.) as its the relationship and the self-realization Holmes goes through throughout the film that makes it such a watch.
Mc Kellan jumps back and forth between being age 93 and whatever age in his flashbacks really shows the range he displays throughout the film. Holmes is the Holmes we all know but he’s old and he’s actually less intense but still condescending. Milo Parker’s character Roger (housekeeper’s son) plays a role that we all know, the intense fascination of how Holmes does his detecting. The relationship was great fun to watch as it started awkwardly but then became an actual friendship and the chemistry between the boy and old man is undeniable. Laura Linney plays the housekeeper and she is the distant one as she doesn’t understand what kind of person Holmes is and what is he even about. This foil of character makes an interesting atmosphere throughout the film when you have one character worshipping Holmes and the other being there strictly cause of circumstances.
The cinematography is what you would expect of British productions as in its pretty slow and there are a lot of sitting around and talking and contemplating. The pacing has no issue here however as you are always curious as to how much more of the flashbacks will Holmes tell young Roger.
In terms of plot, it deals with what we know of Holmes from other stories and really addresses a problem that he has as in he is all about logic and less about being a human being. It’s addressing the core issue of the character that makes this an interesting watch.
All in all, Mr. Holmes is an enjoyable slow watch for fans of Sherlock Holmes, be it you are a fan of movie version of him or Sherlock or even Elementary.