I went to watch Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows with a friend. My friend has never read Sherlock Holmes stories and he had not watched any Sherlock Holmes movies prior to this one. I must say that he had a great beginning with Sherlock Holmes today; perhaps an indelible first impression has been made by this movie on him. He looked content with the viewing as we were leaving the theatre and so seemed the audience who gave a big round of applause before leaving as credentials started rolling after the movie.
I feel that Sherlock Holmes is a very well-known name. Those who have enjoyed Sherlock Holmes canon over the years (like me!) get a feeling of belonging when they watch Holmes on big screen. There have been many movies and TV serials on Sherlock Holmes stories since early decades of twentieth century. I can hardly imagine any other fictional character, perhaps with the only exception of Dracula who has been presented on screen more often. I think there has been no other character in the world of mystery and suspense as intriguing, compelling and brilliant as Sherlock Holmes. I could not identify well with Agatha Christie characters to the same degree and it seems that something is missing in them. As I told in another post, before Sherlock Holmes, Byomkesh Bakshi—the Indian version of Holmes used to be my favourite, because, if you remove action then almost all of the traits of Holmes are present in Bakshi.
The movie has good humour, brilliant direction, stunning cinematography and of course a very good story. I had read the story earlier, therefore I vaguely remembered the plot, but still, it is a great fun to see the way it has been narrated. If you have not read this story then the chances are that you would enjoy it even more. Holmes movies are not as much of mysteries to me as Lynch or Nolan movies are but we have to keep in my mind that these stories were written very long ago.
Dr Watson has a significant role to play in this story and he wins your emotional support here. Holmes looks more vulnerable but definitely remains a victor till the end. (Jared Harris) Moriarty fails to convince (Alas, had Anthony Hopkins done this role!). I could not miss that the plans of Moriarty for a ‘World War’ so peculiarly match the circumstances (and perhaps true motivations!) of the First World War! Again I am insinuating towards Illuminati connections, i. e., Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was somehow aware of a forthcoming world war and his sources might have got this information from Illuminati. Do not push yourself too hard, it’s an easy to watch movie with some excellent action sequences and good performances overall.