The Sunday Leader

Film Review

The New Sherlock Holmes Rocks The Screen

    By Sumaya Samarasinghe

    I never thought I would ever say this but Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson have just experienced a fantastic rebirth thanks to British Director Guy Ritchie. Ritchie to whom we owe very much for the testosterone filled movies like Snatch and  RocknRolla certainly knows how to film his male characters. Robert Downey Jr. who plays Holmes and Jude Law who hasn’t been this good in a long time is funny, bright and totally credible as Dr. Watson. I did have my doubts at first when I heard that he had been cast in the role. A little too young and known for his good looks, Law manages to be completely credible as the sane and dependable Watson.

    And Downey, there was never a doubt that the man was oozing with talent and that is probably the reason why he continued to get parts in films even during his famous drug issues which nearly cost his career. The chemistry between the two actors is a treat to watch. Holmes the brattish genius, attention seeking and so very jealous when Watson finally meets a woman he wishes to spend his life with. As cliché as this may sound they are the two sides of a coin, forever linked and yet so different.

    The chemistry between the actors is great to watch and  the subtlety with which they take on their roles implies a relationship which could somewhat be tilting towards something a little more than just friendship. They bicker like a couple married for 40 years — Holmes is clearly jealous of Watson’s fiancé  — they can read each others’ mind  and are there for each other in times of crisis.

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s plots have also been given a facelift. The film is filled with incredible stunts and fighting scenes (one of Guy Ritchie’s strong points). The story begins with the arrest of the evil Lord Blackwood who uses magic to control and kill people. He is condemned to hang, but a few weeks later news gets out that Blackwood has surfaced from the dead. The film has barely started and your adrenaline levels are already at their highest levels. It is clear from that very moment that Holmes is the genius rule breaker and Watson will do the right thing, and together they are unbeatable.

    The only thing which slows down the film is the female cast especially and sadly the beautiful Rachel Mc Adam who plays Holmes’s love interest. She never seems to be fully in the story but my theory is that her two male counterparts were just too good to measure up to. Mc Adam is generally excellent in all her previous roles. Everyone remembers her in The Notebook,  The Family Stone or more recently in  The Time Traveler’s Wife. Here, her portrayal of Irene Adler is forgettable and an actress with a huge over bearing personality  like Monica Belluci or Penelope Cruz would have been my preferred choice.

    But on the whole, Sherlock Holmes is one of the most pleasant surprises I have experienced in the past few weeks. Set in 19th century London, Guy Ritchie has deliberately omitted the Victorian refinement and uppish attitude often associated with the era. The film is therefore entertaining and an easy watch for a large audience.

    Leave your intellect and logic aside and enjoy the moment, this is what adventure cinema should be like.


    Bonjour Cinéma! Film Festival 2010

    By Virgini Perera

    The French-speaking countries in Europe (Belgium, Canada, France and Switzerland) will present 2010′s edition of Bonjour Cinema, the annual Francophone film festival in Colombo. This fifth edition will be held from March 19 to 23 at the auditorium of Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (next to BMICH) with screenings each day at 2.30 p.m. for children, 4.30 p.m. and 7 p.m. for adults. All films will be subtitled in English and entrance is free. A collection of 12 films representing the diversity and the creativity of the French speaking countries in the field of movie-making for both children and adults, will be screened on this occasion.

    This event will also allow the public from Colombo to celebrate the official and worldwide Day of Francophonie with side events such as a French language contest for students and young French teachers. We hope that you will appreciate this little sample of francophone culture, a culture that draws its richness from its diversity and its openness to others and that has a language that is spoken by more than 200 million people around the world. It is an event not to be missed. Twelve films with English subtitles, including four children’s films, will be screened daily:

    Eight films for Adults: Roman de Gare (Crossed Tracks) by Claude Lelouch 2007 (France)

    Le Premier Venu (Just Anybody) –
    by Jacques Doillon 2008 (France)

    L’ Âge Des Ténèbres (Days of Darkness) — by Denys Arcand 2007 (Canada)

    En Compagnie d’étrangers (Strangers in Good Company) — by Cynthia Scott 1990 (Canada) – Adults

    La Mécanique des Anges (Mechanic Angels) — by Alain Margot 2008 (Switzerland) – Adults

    Pas Les Flics, Pas Les Noirs, Pas Les Blancs (Not the cops not the blacks, not the whites) — by Ursula Meier 2002 (Switzerland)

    La Femme de Gilles (Gilles’wife) —
    by Frédéric Fonteyne 2004 (Belgium)

    Folie Privée (Private madness) —
    by Joachim Lafosse 2004 (Belgium)

    Four children’s films:

    Loulou Et Les Autres Loups (Loulou and other wolves) — by Grégoire Solotareff and Jean-Luc Fromental

    Le Papillon Bleu (The Blue Butterfly)  — by  Lea Pool 2004 (Canada)

    Home (Home) — by Ursula Meier 2008 (Switzerland)

    Special Children’s Programme (Belgium).

    1 Comment for “Film Review”

    1. She is absolutely my No.1 movie star right now. What a superb superstar. Just wonderful!

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