Saturday, July 6, 2013

Period Drama Challenge Review #4: Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking

Last week I went to a library and checked out numerous movies.  Among them was Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004).  Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking is a 2004 television movie that stars Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes and Ian Hart as Dr. Watson.  It takes place in the early 1900's and finds Sherlock Holmes in a sort of retirement.  The story was written for the movie and was a departure from the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, despite some of Sherlock's lines being taken from the books.  Apparently this movie is a sequel to the 2002 television movie The Hound of the Baskervilles, which also starred Ian Hart as Dr. John Watson, but did not star Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes.  Richard Roxburgh played Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles, but didn't agree to reprise his role in the sequel, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking.

The Hound of the Baskervilles (2002).
Judging from the cover as I stood in the library with the DVD in my hands, my first impression was that it was a modern version of Sherlock Holmes.  The suit Rupert Everett is wearing on the cover seemed like a modern suit to me, which confused me quite a lot.  I quickly realized that it did not take place in modern times, but throughout the movie I couldn't shake the impression that Sherlock's suit seemed a bit modern.  I'm not an expert on fashion through the ages, but if he were to magically appear in modern-day times, he wouldn't have much trouble fitting in appearance-wise.

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004).
Being a fan of Jeremy Brett and Benedict Cumberbatch, I was fairly skeptical in regard to Rupert Everett's portrayal of the much beloved and well-known character.  I wasn't disappointed, nor was I impressed.  I neither disliked his portrayal nor did I exactly like it.  My feelings toward his version of the character of Sherlock Holmes were simply neutral, and they remain neutral.  In fact, my feelings toward this whole movie put together are neutral.  It wasn't terrible, but I wouldn't say it was good, either.  It was just okay.  The acting was fine, but I didn't really feel like the actors fit their characters.  Ian Hart's Dr. Watson wasn't how I envisioned Dr. Watson, and Rupert Everett's Sherlock Holmes wasn't how I envisioned Sherlock Holmes.  The whole atmosphere of this movie was different, which is fine, but it just wasn't my Sherlock Holmes.  As a result, I felt like a stranger to its characters.

Ian Hart as Dr. John Watson in Sherlock Holmes and
the Case of the Silk Stocking
The costumes were all fine, except for that particular suit that Sherlock wears, which he is shown wearing on the cover.  Perhaps I'm wrong, but it was a bit too modern-looking.  The fact that this story takes place in the early 1900's and not the 1800's, as the original stories did, may have confused me at times.

One fault this movie had was all the London fog.  I don't think it ever lifted throughout the whole movie.  Another aspect of this film that bothered me was the mystery.  It wasn't a usual Sherlock Holmes-esque mystery, and it didn't require Sherlock's skills to solve it.  Most of the time it required psychological understanding and guessing and following one's instinct.  One aspect that I did like, however, was the soundtrack.  This film had beautiful music to accompany its scenes and to create the mood at certain moments.

Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre (2011).
There were two actors that I recognized in this movie.  Ian Hart played Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001).  There was also Michael Fassbender.  I knew that I recognized him, but I couldn't think of where I had seen him.  Then it dawned on me - Michael Fassbender played Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre (2011)!

Overall, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking is a movie I'd recommend skipping.  Unless you are very bored, don't bother watching this movie.  This movie doesn't exactly deserve such a harsh description, but it's true nonetheless.  Rupert Everett's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes was slightly too arrogant, although I think he did a good job of showing that Sherlock is not a completely cold-hearted or apathetic character.  It just didn't feel quite right.  That is what I think of this movie:  it wasn't quite right.  I don't think it will be likely that I'll ever watch it again.  As for inappropriate content, nothing really happens, although the subject matter is undoubtedly unpleasant.  There is one uncomfortable scene towards the end.  So, why not spare yourself the trouble and not bother watching this movie?  That's how I view it, anyhow.  I won't say it was a complete waist of my time, but I will say I would much rather watch an episode of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett or Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch.  I regret to say this is not a very thorough review, but when one does not have much to say about a mediocre film, one struggles with writing a review.


  1. I've looked over this movie a few times and considered it but always skipped it because Rupert Everett never appealed to me as Sherlock Holmes. I am however interested in watching The Hound of the Baskervilles with Richard Roxburgh.

  2. I thought your review was admirably thorough considering you didn't like the movie. Not one I'll be picking up, as I don't have enough time to watch all the good things I want to see, much less something mediocre. Thanks for the heads-up!