Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking
June 15, 2008 § Leave a comment
As a thick fog settles over London, a killer begins to strike, and he seems to be able to reach people even in rooms that lock from the inside. This is a well paced, gripping and engaging Sherlock Holmes thriller from Allan Cubitt, who obviously knows and loves the Conan Doyle stories. It’s well directed and produced, and boasts solid acting and a good score.
Rupert Everett is an interesting choice for Homles, as a more handsome actor than most actors in this role, and while he’s in danger of looking bored at times he ultimately succeeds in conveying that a great deal is going on below the surface. It’s as though his listless physical presence is meant to contrast a sharp mind, and while there’s a severe detachment from emotion, occasional outbursts do convey that he at least cares about his work, at least.
Ian Hart is the perfect Watson, having previously played the part in The Hound of the Baskervilles (also made for TV, but with Richard Roxburgh as Holmes and adapted from the novel by Allan Cubitt). As this one isn’t based on a Conan Doyle story, there’s a subplot where Watson is to be married, and his love interest appears in a few scenes, first to apparently convince Sherlock women can be intelligent, and again to assist in the investigation briefly. Her character could’ve been more integrated into the plot, but as women are prized fetish objects for the villain of the film, it does serve as a contrast to introduce a woman who clearly wouldn’t be marrying Watson unless he treated her respectfully. If there’s one example of blind adoration and desire for ownership, there’s another example of a real relationship, which certainly couldn’t have been provided by Holmes.
Cubitt has an obvious love for Sherlock Holmes, and I hope it translates into another film or two. And hopefully next time he’ll be allowed to keep his original title (in this case, Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Season). There are always those fans of Conan Doyle who detest the idea of producing anything other than the original source material, but this always strikes me as something of a knee-jerk reaction. New stories — if created respectfully enough — can only provide us with more to enjoy, and certainly don’t threaten to topple what Conan Doyle established.