With the exceptions of the comments left on articles, comments from colleagues, and occasionally, weekend box office receipts, I spend the majority of my time blissfully unaware that people don't share the same feelings as I do about movies. I don't mean to suggest that my feelings are correct; I'm merely observing that I'm surprised when people respond in a particularly strong way to a film, either when it's released or some time after the fact. On my Iron Man 2 review, for example, there was a preponderance of comments from readers in which they dismantled The Dark Knight, a film which to my knowledge was almost universally beloved.
But there was also an outpouring of hostility when, in that same review, I championed Sherlock Holmes, a movie which I regarded as, well, if no great work of art, at least as really entertaining and fun. Upon second glance, however – which was afforded me thanks to the recent release of the film on Blu-ray by distributor Warner Brothers – I feel compelled to argue the artistic merits of at least one scene, even if it may have served as an interruption to the rest of the fun and entertainment.
Specifically, I'm referring to the scene in which Holmes meets Watson's fiancé, the fetching Mary Morstan. The scene actually opens with Holmes alone at a table at a posh restaurant where he watches the rest of the diners and wait staff as they chug through routines of service, polite conversation, and in one case, minor theft. But what's interesting is not that Holmes notices all of these small details – small details which Mary quickly discovers are sometimes best undiscussed – but the fact that he is quite literally incapable of not noticing them. Diagnose him as an ADD victim or even some kind of savant, but Holmes' powers of deduction are as much a curse as a blessing, and he's helpless but to succumb to them, especially when he's surrounded by a virtual orgy of information.
The scene of course culminates in Holmes' reading of Mary, who responds to his uncouth dissection with an appropriately juicy rejoinder, but it's very much in this scene that not only is Holmes' ability best demonstrated, but demonstrated as weakness, and plays directly to the character's stilted, superior, but deeply desperate relationships with the remaining characters in the film.
Unfortunately, I was unable to find the exact clip from the film. But check out Sherlock Holmes' theatrical trailer below:
Sherlock Holmes was released on Blu-ray on March 30, 2010, and is available now in stores. I hope you like it as much as I do, but if you don't, I'm sure you'll let me know.