Posts Tagged ‘A Game Of Shadows’

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STARCAST: Robert Downey, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Rachal McAdams (cameo)

DIRECTOR: Guy Ritchie

RUNNING TIME: 129 minutes

GENRE: Action/Adventure

In 2009 Guy Ritchie brought to life, one of the most loved and popular fictional detectives on the 70 mm screen. The movie was met with a largely positive critics’ reaction and managed to tickle the box office as well. A sequel was always on the cards, but making one is nothing less than a gamble because it can always lead to a double whammy considering the sky high expectations and hype following its predecessor’s success.

Without beating around the bush, I can safely say that the movie didn’t disappoint at all and in fact is at par with its prequel, if not better.

Sherlock Holmes-the game of shadows starts off from where the first one ended with Irine Adler (Rachel McAdams) working under Professor Moriarity (Jared Harris), Holmes (Robert Downey) being the maniac as always whereas Watson (Jude Law) is looking forward to his marriage. We are also told that he will be soon quitting his partnership with Holmes.

A series of bombings across the globe and the mysterious death of the Prince of Austria follow the proceedings leaving Holmes puzzled and creating a timorous atmosphere. The man responsible for the havoc, is a smart puppet master Moriarity himself who considers that Watson’s a legitimate target for his retaliation against Holmes. Holmes must save them and get John involved in one last case. A fortune telling gypsy lady Madam Simza (Noomi Rapace) is on loose ends as her brother Rene works for the nefarious Moriarity and wily Holmes sees Rene as a potential scapegoat who can help him destroy Moriarity’s sinister plans. Thus begins the search for Rene led by Watson, Holmes and Simza. Together, the trio find themselves involved in a dangerous international conspiracy led by the Napoleon of Crime in which the fate of all of Europe hangs in the balance.

Though there is an element of mystery in this film, it is not as in-depth as the first film. Rather the focus is on the action sequences and clever humour.Notice how an in the buff Stephen Fry as Holmes’ brother, Mycroft outstays his welcome to Watson’s wife and her reaction later. It’s outright hilarious. Watson’s marriage, rather than taking away the bromance, adds unexpected colour and creativity.

While the first half is full of witty dialogues and showcases the bromance between Watson and Holmes, the second half has a few of unexpected turns and twists especially when Holmes is accused of barking up the wrong tree. Special mention to the set and costume designs-they do render an eighteenth century feel to the movie. The visual effects are top notch here.The slow motion action sequences blend well in most of the scenes. The editing is crisp and frenetic. The music is adequate at best.

The last 20 minutes of the movie are a class apart where the chess game of life and death is aptly used as a metaphor and Holmes finally lets the cat out of the bag.

One really needs to watch the movie twice to find any major flaws, however I felt it was pointless bringing Mcadams into the story. Those who haven’t read the book might find it difficult to relate to the climax as it is a bit open, I would say.

While Downey Jr. and Law are just as impeccable and well matched as they were the first time round, it is Jared Harris who steals the thunder hands down. He is extremely ruthless and his devilish grin adds to the mystery that surrounds his character. At the same time, the villain here is extremely smart and capable of joshing Holmes in a couple of scenes. After examining Harris’s performance, it’s hard to imagine anyone else stepping into his shoes.

The ladies here are mere eye candies. Stephen Fry is a welcome addition to the team and manages to keep the viewer in splits with his backseat driver like antics.

All in all, Sherlock Holmes-A game of shadows in a smartly paced, adrenaline pumping flick which will keep your popcorn crunchy and at the same time make you break into a guffaw here and there. Don’t miss it.

Rating-4/5

By Anubhav Shrivastava

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