Review: Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes Poster

Murder in London? Go to 221B Baker Street.

Rating: ****

Guy Ritchie is an auteur.His subtle use of black comedy becomes a large part of Sherlock Holmes. This film is perhaps not the best version of Sir Conan Doyle’s stories, but it is the quintessential Guy Ritchie film. Robert Downey’s Sherlock Holmes thinks faster than Daniel Craig’s James Bond.

Take the vital elements in it – Ironic mix of humor and violence (aka Black Comedy), lots of fist fights between the baddies and the good guys (Holmes, Dr. Watson and sometimes Irene Adler), ‘best buddies-get-emotional’ scenes (we’ve seen it in Snatch and heavily in RocknRolla) and most notably Ritchie’s favorite villain – Mark Strong. Moreover, Lord Blackwood’s famed Satanism seems to be a cover-up for his use of trickery and science in his most devious escape from death.

In prison, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) warns Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) that he will rise after death.

Downey gives you a more masculine version of Holmes and yes, he is charming enough to handle the humor. Jude Law’s Dr. John Watson is more likely the strongest character in the film, apart from the French-speaking baddie, Dredger. The funny thing is that Ritchie’s previous flicks never had a female lead (Thandie Newton in RocknRolla wasn’t the lead). Rachel McAdams’ Irene Adler is a sublime performance. Here, Rachel’s portrayal of a beautiful but dangerous woman in Holmes’ life lacks the charm.

Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) and Holmes get into some serious trouble which leads to more and more action.

The second one, Kelly Reilly’s Mary Morstan who plays Watson’s love interest may be in for more than she knows. The advent of Mary on the scene sends Holmes into fits of petulance. Even when Watson booms “I’m marrying her Holmes!” he tries to avoid her shadow.

Holmes and the femme fatale Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) play a cat and mouse game in the film.

Sherlock Holmes happens in Victorian England. Hence, visual effects are a big boost to the film. Watch out for the Tower Bridge. It is the best any animator could do. Full marks to the costume design and art direction team, they really did their homework.

Sherlock Holmes is vastly entertaining with many enchanting visuals. However, it fails to reincarnate Sir Conan Doyle’s vision. Instead, it is Guy Ritchie’s commercial formula.


Review: Happy-Go-Lucky


Woman! God Bless Her!

Happy Go Lucky (R)

Director: Mike Leigh

Cast: Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Samuel Roukin

Genre: Comedy-Drama

Rating: ***

Many a time, men are angry. Everyone needs to get angry. It’s a routine of a daily life. These men work in quiet workplaces such as a library or a bad business store on the corner of the street. Some men have a bad past which makes them get angry on everything wrong doing. Some men don’t enjoy happiness. Count me in too. We possess the anger quotient which keeps us alive to turn red every once a while. People say that a change in our lives may bring us happiness. That’s what Happy Go Lucky is all about.

Happy Go Lucky is a British film which follows the life of Poppy who lives in South London with her friends. Poppy is your energetic, fun-loving thirty-year old single woman who is a school teacher during the day and a clubber at night. Throughout the film, men are shown to be silent, disgraceful and misunderstood. These men include Poppy’s moronic driving instructor, the bookstore clerk, a student in her class and a pauper on the road. It is how Poppy deals with these people using her comic dialogues and wide smile that forms her character. Poppy is positive and desires to spread the smile but she meets a lot of people who cannot even fake a smile.

Poppy’s aide is her best friend Zoe and her younger sister Suzy. Her contacts are however spread over and she finds help anywhere and everywhere. Mike Leigh’s direction is a key figure to the linear narrative of Happy Go Lucky. The old-fashioned titles are too nostalgic for us to forget while the creative ink used in the credits is more of a German Expressionism fanged one. The music is however a little irritating.

Humor is of course the best sideline in this film. The date scene is one of the best in wordy humor. The film talks a lot of positive and negative outlets and the people who want a positive world with no strangers. The cinematography is equally good to the lighting of the film. Choosing some good looking locations, the director has done a fair job with the script. Although the movie starts as a family comedy type, it ends as a rather serious and silly woman flick.

Happy Go Lucky is perhaps the best movie which explains the anger of men. Poppy’s encounter with the bookstore clerk shows the man to be shy or depressed while the driving instructor is protective and discreet. Some of the qualities of anger are best explained in the final outburst between Poppy and Scott. The dialogues of the film play a warrior role as it fights every second to keep the conversation alive. The screenplay certainly deserves a pat.

Sally Hawkins as Poppy Cross does the biggest job carrying the burden in her humorous nature.

Happy Go Lucky is a heartwarming comedy drama which explores the heart of Poppy and tells us what she did to a few disturbed men. The film may be long remembered for its joyous tale and livening narration. Of course the British accent can be remembered.