Now this is a wonderful premise. Take a famous literary character, and let him live out his years and explore what would happen if a once world famous detective started to have dementia and amidst his failing health.
Ian McKellen takes on Sherlock Holmes wrestling with a retirement that is not going terribly well as he is losing his memory and his once powers of deductiveness starts to fail him.
A reluctant house keeper with her young son take care of him, with his usual grumpiness and general impatience feeding into an atmosphere that doesn’t make him the easiest of people to live with.
We are told a story of a case, that has perplexed him in his final years, as he tries to piece together his memory to recall a clue he maybe missed. Along side this he teaches the young boy all about bee keeping and the process of making honey.
The movie goes along at a very slow pace, but this lets us marvel at the great acting of McKellen. While not a young man in real life, this movie has him looking 20 years older and very frail. What is shocking, is the believable state he is in.
Now, the length of the movie could easily have had 30 minutes chopped out of it and not lost anything. There was large pieces that just didn’t make any sense and you are left wondering if the director had cut maybe a crucial scene that made sense of what was left in.
Overall it was ‘ok’ nothing great and you could be forgiven for overlooking it.
#106 in the series
Wednesday, 2nd December 2015 (Richmond)