6.24.2009

A three pipe problem


Around this time last year, I posted about my visit to Gillette's Castle and my deep affection for the Granada Sherlock Holmes series (the DVD complete box set is worth every penny). But it's more than just the weather that's got me thinking about my favorite eccentric detective. We've got the steampunk trend embracing Holmesian fashion and the Sherlock Holmes movie to be released this Christmas. When I heard about the forthcoming movie, I thought "why must they tamper with greatness?"

Guy Ritchie's film stars Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock and Jude Law as Holmes. Oy vey. My brother, who has been a devoted Sherlock fan since childhood (coincidentally he bears a resemblance to Robert Downey Jr) commented "while Downey will put on a quality performance, the screenplay and overall production will only be adequate for the popcorn population, but not for those like us." Judging by the official movie preview I must concur. More James Bond than Arthur Conan Doyle. And what about the trademark aqualine features? Apparently the casting was more concerned with a tight six pack.


Now compare to the brilliant Jeremy Brett, the definitive Sherlock. He deserves a lifetime achievement award for his stunning, complex portrayal- but sadly he died at age 59. My all-time favorite scene from the Granada series:




Brett regarded the detective as "a black-and-white figure moving through a world of color" (sigh). He truly became Sherlock - as his bio outlines, the role became entangled with his real life, however tragically. I hope that the new audiences discover the Granada series starring Brett and the other remarkable cast members. Granada's adaptation captured every detail and mannerisms of the original stories, and in some ways surpassed them. Not an easy task.

Trends may come and go, but there is comfort in knowing that greatness is timeless. Long Live JB.

2 comments:

Felipe said...

I've never saw the mentioned series, but I've read the entire Holmes' related work by Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle, and the first thing that came into my mind after seeing this brief youtube clip was: "That's exactly how Sherlock Holmes behave!".

Annie said...

It's a shame to think that so many people will only know Downey Jr's representation of this fine character. He's a complex soul who deserves more than to be just another Hollywood rehash.

Thank goodness for Jeremy Brett.