DATELINE: No Deerstalker Here
with Ian Hart as Watson.
We wondered back in 2004 why Rupert Everett’s fascinating take on Sherlock Holmes did not lead to a series. It was around the time that Jeremy Brett had passed on—and a new Holmes was certainly ripe for the picking.
Granada TV and PBS passed on Everett’s interpretation, much to our regret.
Instead, we had the dreadful Robert Downey movie version—and the marvelous updated Cumberbatch TV Sherlock.
Yet, for our money, the classic look and demeanor of Everett was delicious enough. In the Case of the Silk Stocking, not part of the canon, we had a story that was part of the problem. It dealt with sexual problems in the multiple murderer—and Holmes was brought up to date by Watson’s fiancée who now is an American psychologist.
The other problems with the story-line featured cruel mistreatment of women, largely teenage girls brutally killed in a fetish demeanor. Holmes does not help much with his misogynist attitudes that may be accurate, however off-putting. Indeed, when he intrudes on the bedroom one a teenage girl, it seems almost creepy.
On Rupert Everett these foibles work to the flaws of Sherlock.
Ian Hart’s Watson is a tad too smug, and Helen McCrory as his American spouse-to-be is too much a concession to political correctness.
We were delighted to see Michael Fassbender in an early, important role. But, the film belongs to Everett who makes Sherlock’s tired, drug-addled character quite intriguing. There is a sharp undercurrent of sexual malaise in this Holmes, played by the openly gay Everett.
What a shame he played the role only here. It’s a worthy effort in the history of Sherlock performances.