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Saturday, January 9, 2016

An old man, a little home near the sea, and Roger : Mr Holmes (2015)



To think that I might have missed this one! If not for a post on a facebook page! And the post was made by an expert in the business. I don't know if this movie was showed in the local theater. But I am thankful that it was available in our library.

Mr Holmes is 93 years old now. Yes, THE Mr Holmes - of the Sherlock denomination. And yes, the movie begins with that romantic old train, my weakness. :) And he lives in this beautiful home in that beautiful countryside, the typical English one with all its greens and flowers and stone walls and country kitchen complete with a cozy housekeeper who is busy with carrots and cabbages and stews and teas. For me, even those mundane oranges and greens and blues work to enhance the whole movie watching experience. The movie is a sensual feast, even though there is no sexy romance in there of nubile young beings. Only the loneliness and the regrets of an old man who once had the sharpest of intellects, who had lived his life by the tenets of pure logic. And that scary curse of old age - the slow deterioration of the mind - the loss of memory.

However, it is Sherlock Holmes. You do not expect him to give in without a fight! That, maybe, one last hurrah.  He finds a perfect partner in crime in the young Roger - the fatherless son of the sad, bitter, no-nonsense housekeeper. Their conspiratorial relationship is fascinating, as is their fight for the good bees against the evil wasps. And the solving of two mysteries, one of which involves the woman in his last case. I particularly liked the way the past is told - by Holmes himself, through his diary, by Roger reading the same - simply clever and not at all intrusive. But even though while I watched the movie, everything blended into a whole object that is the character Holmes, something about his relationship -- or I should call it the "non-relationship"  that never was, but should have been-- between him and that tragic young woman, lingers. Like Holmes says, his logical analysis did not help her - nor did his own fear and pride help - neither him nor her. Even though he knew they were kindred souls - two lonely hearts who could have been lonely together. The great Holmes realizes it late in life, like many a common man or woman! Makes him one of us. But this realization helps him in resolving the other mystery - this time with feeling and imagination - both which he had spurned before. He can grieve for Watson at last!

The slow loss of his memory, for Holmes, does not turn out to be a total loss -  the childless, Watson-less, Holmes gains a son and gets in touch with his feelings. As does the mother of the boy. It is all so simple - a simple story about an almost (by now) mythical character, but it is written well, and made well.

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