Intermediate Mid Sherlock Holmes

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Several Soviet-Russian film adaptations of Conan Doyle’s stories about detective Sherlock Holmes deserve special mention for casting Holmes. It is not a stretch to say that any school aged child in Russia has been a fan of the Sherlock Holmes legacy. What you are going to watch is the witty cartoon pastiche "Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The Murder of Lord Waterbrook" (2005). There is a mocking twist that perhaps makes this adaptation more a parody of detective fiction than a direct imitation of the genre. Of course, it is far from being the first revisionist take on the Conan Doyle’s detective stories. Needless to say, over the course of time the literary prototype of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character has been replaced by its visual version. For example, in original stories such traits as the deerstalker hat, the magnifying glass, the distinctive pipe, and the phrase “Elementary, my dear Watson” are not mentioned. The characters are described in great detail in the stories though. As an intellectual Sherlock Holmes is renowned for his skillful use of deductive reasoning and for being able to draw large conclusions from the smallest observations. Holmes is described as a classic Victorian era detective as well as an accomplished philosopher, astronomer, and even geologist and botanist, while Watson was created to record those cases that emphasized the analytical side of Holmes. Little is said about Baker Street landlady Mrs Hudson, but apparently she doesn’t only maintain the residence but has been also a humble and loyal housekeeper.

As the pastiche this adaptation tries to be faithful, but inflates some points. The irony with Holmes’ “the scientific method” is that he has always ended up with the intuitive method which "proved to be infallible" and never needs correction. At the same time the cartoon captured the rich Victorian flavor and distinctly British tone, "dry British humor" as perceived by Russians and has a wonderful way of mimicking British accent of the detective who methodically tells himself what he has to do, move by move. This is really a fun version of Sherlock Holmes. On a practical level, as any adaptation is bound to reflect both a literary source and the perspective of its current social reproduction, and this one refers to culturally specific Russian themes and topics.