An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes deals with early dementia, as he tries to remember his final case, and a mysterious woman, whose memory haunts him. He also befriends a fan, the young son of his housekeeper, who wants him to work again.
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The story is set in 1947, following a long-retired Holmes living in a Sussex village with his housekeeper and her young son. But then he finds himself haunted by a thirty-year old case. Holmes memory isn't what it used to be, so he only remembers fragments of the case: a confrontation with an angry husband, and a secret bond with his beautiful, but unstable wife.
According to Holmes, he has been retired for nearly thirty years. Since this movie is set in 1947, Holmes' last case happened in 1918. In the same timeline, Watson should have died in 1921, three years after this professional separation. Since Holmes is ninety-three years old in 1947, it means that he was born in 1854. McKellen was seventeen years younger than his character. See more »
Robert's bedside light is a MacLamp No.8 - appearing a decade or so before it was actually designed. See more »
No spoilers, I promise The first thing that struck me about this movie was how different it is to other adaptations of Sherlock Holmes. It is very far from Robert Downey Jr's interpretation, which I thought was very good. It is so similar to Conan Doyle's books (even with Watson's romanticised twists on things) that I would advise fans of the BBC's Sherlock to steer clear, as it is a very different Holmes to the one they love.
I would recommend this for a 10+ age group, as anyone younger may not understand the complex messages that are being conveyed - they also might find two scenes in particular too frightening.
Ian McKellen is an outstanding actor, and this performance shows it. He is engaging throughout the entire run time and provides us with some very touching moments that leave us thinking long and hard. The story is very intriguing, and the ending very satisfying, even if it is a little heart-breaking.
I conclusion, I suggest you go and see this film if you are a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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