Mr. Holmes (2015)

train scene from the film, Mr. Holmes

a train scene from the film, Mr. Holmes

While browsing of what movies to watch on iFlix, I stumbled upon Mr. Holmes, a 2015 film by Bill Condon and stars Ian McKellen as an elderly Sherlock Holmes.

It’s 1947, Sherlock Holmes is 93 years old, long-time retired, and living in a rural farm with his housekeeper, Mrs. Munro, and her son, Roger. He just returned from Japan, bringing home a plant called prickly ash which he believes will improve his failing memory. A flashback reveals that Dr. Watson got married and left. Sherlock would like to write about his last case but he couldn’t write it in full because of his memory. Also, there were many things in what Dr. Watson’s had written (including the creative liberties that went with it) that Sherlock would like to correct.

So there are three stories running in this film. The last two were inter-weaved together through flashbacks.

  1. The present tension between Mrs. Munro and her son Roger. Mrs. Munro has been raising Roger alone and being a housekeeper of an aging man worries her (financial security). She thinks of accepting a job in a hotel but Roger wants to stay with Mr. Holmes.
  2. Sherlock’s visit to Japan and his encounter with Tamiki Umezaki. Little did Sherlock knows that Umezaki has an ulterior motive of inviting Holmes to Japan.
  3. Sherlock’s last case. A married man came to see him about his “disappearing” wife. Sherlock took on the case but Dr. Watson’s writing made it more dramatic.

Although it doesn’t have the adrenalin rush of Sherlock we’re used to, the film achieved its goal to tell a good story.


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