[REVIEW] Brilliant performance by Sir Ian McKellen in Mr Holmes

Brilliant. Sir Ian Mckellen’s portrayal of the all time famous and aloof detective Sherlock Holmes was simply brilliant to bring out the essence of the fictitious character as a living person amidst others.

From the trailer, one could definitely expect more from the line The Man Beyond The Myth as Sherlock, by Sir Ian McKellen, himself refuted the notions of his preference towards his icons of “the famous hat” and the “pipe” and other popularised beliefs of himself. He may have continued to possess high intelligence and acute observations to make logical deductions, but at an age of 93, Sherlock was no different from other ageing individuals who struggled with memory failure and deteriorating health. It is perhaps right at this juncture where Sir Ian McKellen displayed a spectacular performance of presenting two versions of Sherlock as one; one who was still the one-of-a-kind detective highly capable of astute reasoning and other who struggled with ageing.

Mr Holmes Facebook Page

Personally, I felt that the movie was beautiful, captivating and at the same time, it presented a more “realistic” side of Sherlock Holmes, contrary to what we have known. Past portrayal of this fictitious character has always been the aloof and eccentric sleuth who was distant from others, perhaps excluding Dr Watson, highly absorbed in his critical and logical thinking and deductions but less sociable and lacking empathy towards others. In this movie, certain traits are still retained in Sherlock but he became more approachable, particularly with Roger, son of his housekeeper Mrs Munro.

Credits: Mr Holmes Facebook Page

Mrs Munro, played by Laura Linney, and Roger, played by Milo Parker, were key figures in the movies who accompanied Sherlock after he retired to Sussex. I would have to admit that I paid more attention towards Sherlock’s relationship with Roger who gave Sherlock inspiration and perhaps even motivation to recall and pen down his last case involving Thomas and Ann Kelmot. In the movie, the case was presented in fragments of flashback as Sherlock struggled to recall it from his past. Every time Sherlock had that memory written down to his best, he would hand it to Roger who read it like a story and anticipated for continuation. Eventually, Roger became closer to Sherlock who taught him and influenced him greatly.

Towards the end of the movie (spoiler alert!), Roger also seemed to be the trigger who brought out an emotional side of Sherlock when he was hospitalized for an accident. This incident may have also taught Sherlock about Dr Watson’s effort to “embellish” stories as an act of kindness to hide truth in Thomas Kelmot’s case, hence Sherlock decided to address a letter to Umezaki, played by Hiroyuki Sanada.

Credits: Mr Holmes Facebook Page

This movie may lack of the usual crime-solving excitement or nerve-wrecking action scenes, unlike the past versions of Sherlock Holmes portrayed in movies or dramas, but Sir Ian McKellen’s captivating performance gave the movie its beauty and life to Sherlock which allows viewers to relate to his weaknesses as a human too. Moreover, every lead who have appeared alongside Sir Ian McKellen have performed magnificently with great effort to shape their characters meticulously. This movie was definitely a beautiful and brilliant work put together.

Mr Holmes has been released in Singapore from 6th Aug. The only way to know it yourself is to see it for yourself

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