"It is to be my final case".

 

Sherlock Holmes, the most famous detective in the literary world, wants to solve the case that made him retire 30 years earlier. This fictional character, made famous by the books of Scotland’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is revealed in more depth than ever before in Bill Condon's new film. Mr Holmes (played by Sir Ian McKellan) shows the character in a totally new way, as he is now an old man (aged 93), who is losing his memory.

 

At the beginning of the film, Sherlock comes back home after a trip to Japan to find his housemaid and her son (Roger) having made everything ready for his return. Roger is a very enthusiastic young boy who has an interest in bees, as does Mr Holmes, and this love for bees helps build a friendship between them. As the story progresses, Mr Holmes begins to lose his memory more and more, even though he had hoped the “prickly ash” he brought back from a trip to Japan would help bring his memory back.

 

Mr Holmes learns and is disturbed by people believing stories of him wearing a deerstalker hat and smoking a pipe, so he plans on writing a story before he dies to tell everyone the truth about him and all the mysteries he has solved. Interestingly, his famous assistant Doctor Watson is not included in solving his final case but Sherlock mentions him when he tells Roger about some of his greatest cases.

 

Mr Holmes continues to spend time with Roger and not just when they're looking after the bees; he suggests they go to the beach and whilst they are walking there, Roger reveals that he is desperate to hear the end of Mr Holmes' final case and offers to look after the bees on his own whilst Mr Holmes works on his story.

 

Once they arrive back home, Roger goes to see the bees whilst Mr Holmes goes upstairs to try and get his memory back and make sure that the story is 100% true. Whilst Mr Holmes prepares himself to write his story, there is a knock at the door: 'knock knock knock'. It is the housemaid bringing some devastating news.

 

Will the housemaid and Roger leave Holmes? Will the “Prickly Ash” bring Sherlock’s memory back? With a few falls and accidents will Holmes be able to solve his “final case”? Or will his deduction techniques fail him? I thought Mr Holmes was a marvellous film and great for Sherlock Holmes fans and mystery fans alike. I would give the film a five star rating!

 

Mr Holmes is currently showing at Picturehouse at FACT. See full listings.