Total Pageviews

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sherlock : Season One Review

Genre : Crime Drama
Created by : Mark Gatiss , Steven Moffat
Based on : Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Written by : Mark Gatiss , Steven Moffat, Stephen Thompson
Directed by : Paul McGuigan, Euros Lyn, Toby Haynes
Composer : David Arnold, Michael Price
Starring : Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott, Mark Gatiss

123 years after the world first heard of him, BBC brings to you a modern day rendition of the world’s most famous detective - Sherlock Holmes (just born in a different century and not so famous yet).

This 21st century investigator combines modern day technology with the classic “Art of Deduction” to solve bewildering crimes and catch bad guys. Featuring alongside him are all your favourite characters from the original series. Dr Watson (Martin Freeman), Holmes’ right hand man and perhaps the only person in the world who can solve the inscrutable puzzle that is Sherlock Holmes. Mycroft Holmes(Mark Gatiss) , Holmes’ elder brother who possesses powers of observation and deduction that even exceed Sherlock’s. And last but not the least Professor James Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’ mirror image - just as Sherlock is the world’s only consulting detective, Moriarty is the world’s only consulting criminal.

Ever since Nolan’s Batman series came out, audiences across the world are no longer convinced with the smokes and mirrors approach to super heroes. I use the term super hero because Sherlock Holmes is in his own way as much a superhero as any other. This show presents Holmes as a more human and relatable person, even more so than the original series (at least in season 1). Holmes no longer relies on his memory for trivial matters such as the weather neither does he maintain an impractically large index of every criminal in the country. He now simply pulls out his I-phone and google's the information he needs.

Just as the creators have depicted Sherlock in a modern day avatar, they have done so with all the other characters. Mrs. Hudson is no longer their caretaker but has just leased out her room to Watson and Holmes and takes care of the duo out of fondness. While in the original, Conan Doyle only alludes to Mycroft’s association with the government, the series openly shows him as being affiliated with MI6, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. But the depiction of James ‘Jim’ Moriarty is perhaps the most captivating of the lot.

The creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, ventured out to present Moriarty as someone who is ‘absolutely psycho’ and need to be congratulated for their efforts. Easily the most interesting character in the series, Moriarty (no longer Professor) plays Holmes’ counterpart who has a criminal strain running through his blood which has been ‘increased and rendered infinitely more dangerous by his extraordinary mental powers‘; an evil so demented that you wish Sherlock had never crossed his path.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the part of modern day Holmes to perfection and impresses with his impeccable dialog delivery (he does it without sounding like Tony Stark with a British accent). Another special mention goes to Andrew Scott for the portrayal of Moriarty in a never before seen avatar. From his dialogue delivery to his body language, everything about him seems nefarious.

The show’s principal virtue is that it preserves the original book’s integrity while at the same time presents it in a relatable and stylish manner. It possesses all the glitz and glam that viewers have come to expect from a prime-time show without reducing itself to a mere action series. That was one major complaint I had with the movies. Sherlock is someone who is skilled at martial arts but avoids physical exertion as much as possible. His boxing days were long over, he didn't go get into fights in underground joints for entertainment, he injected himself with a cocaine solution and sat in front of his fireplace. The series stays true to the original in this aspect and as a devout fan that is what I appreciate about it.

Apart from Sherlock’s fighting skills the series also eclipses some of his other talents. Several of the original stories involved Sherlock donning numerous disguises and spending nights just staking out, this is something that is rarely seen in the season. An anomaly in the show for me is Sherlock’s apparent cluelessness to his coworker Molly’s feelings for him. For the world’s smartest detective, this seems pretty stupid. However, these shortcomings are hardly notable and do not at all hinder the viewing experience.

A novel idea in the show was how text messages or emails appeared on the screen for the viewer to read instead of the actors having to read them out. This was the first time this was ever done on screen and has found its way to other shows and movies as well.

And last but certainly not the least, the music score. The theme song, when it came out, was perhaps the most widely hummed tune everywhere and due credit needs to be given to David Arnold for this musical masterpiece.

Overall, the conglomeration of brilliant screenplay, dialogues and solid acting performances along with a catchy background score make it one series you definitely should not miss!

No comments:

Post a Comment