Tuesday, January 31, 2012

TV Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004)

Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes and The Case of the Silk Stocking
Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes  

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking is a very good adaptation starring Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes and Ian Hart as Dr Watson.

As the movie opens, we meet a much drugged Sherlock languishing in what looks to be an opium den.  Soon he meets up with Dr Watson, who implores him to return to London to take up the case of a murdered young woman.

Holmes soon finds himself on the trail of a Jack Ripper-like serial killer with a foot fetish and who preys not on the destitutes and prostitutes, but on the rich and mighty. As is his wont, Inspector Lestrade (Neil Dudgeon) finds himself clueless, even as Holmes works out the case to a successful conclusion.

Rupert Everett is quite a revelation as Sherlock Holmes. At 6’4”, Everett is one of the tallest actors ever to portray Holmes. In addition to having the necessary physicality, Everett’s Holmes has the same cold & analytical mind, sharp wit and the laidback and masterly deportment that have made Holmes such an enduring character.

Everett's Holmes is pretty close to the canonical Holmes and I would have loved if he had continued his work further. It is quite unfortunate that Everett's turn as Sherlock Holmes is so criminally under appreciated.

Ian Hart as Dr John Watson in Sherlock Holmes and The Case of the Silk Stocking
Ian Hart as Dr Watson

Ian Hart makes a superb Watson. He is not the bumbling Watson as portrayed famously by Nigel Bruce. His Watson is the competent ally and long suffering friend, Holmesians and Sherlockians all over the world have come to know and love.

Neil Dudgeon plays Lestrade who remains dim as ever. Jonathan Hyde gives a delightful performance as George Pentney, the put-upon husband of the imperious Mary Pentney (Eleanor David).

I cannot reveal any detail about the actor(s) playing the serial killer(s), in order to avoid spoiling the fun.

The costumes and sets add to the atmosphere and keep the viewers entrenched in the mystery unfolding onscreen. The direction by Simon Cellan Jones is solid. Special mention must be made of the background score by Adrian Johnston, especially during the scenes in which Holmes makes his observations and deductions.

Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes and The Case of the Silk Stocking
Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes

Highly recommended to fans of Sherlock Holmes.

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Image Sources: BBC, Tiger Aspect Productions, WGBH Boston

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  1. Have to disagree with you on this one -- I didn't like it at all. The script was so painfully modernized that it didn't fit the period (Holmes having a discussion about sex with a lady? uh... sure...) and I've seen Rupert Everett in so many Wilde comedies that I couldn't take him seriously, particularly since he gives the exact same performance as Holmes as he does in everything else.

    1. Thanks for the info about Everett's performance. This movie is one and the only one I have seen of Everett so far...

      Interestingly, Everett will be making his directorial debut with a biopic on Oscar Wilde. Everett will be playing Wilde as well.