Now considering the material there is no question that these actors hit the mark playing Sherlock Holmes. Partly because Doyle’s writing is so adroit, and partly, because the actors, writer, and character all come from the same country. Not to mention, the actors are just pretty talented in their own right. These two gentlemen also played Sherlock a generation apart which made upgrading Sherlock to a more modern man palatable. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a much younger Sherlock and is kind of hip with his fancy electronics and computer litteracy. His unorthodox good looks and deep stage voice don’t hurt either. The late Jeremy Brett, however, wasn’t a bad looking man either but very much more of an old school Brit, who also played a much older Sherlock. With great diction and rolling R’s.
Audiences who remember the Jeremy Brett Sherlock, got a chance to miss him when the shows run was over, and when Benedict Cumberbatch reprised the role as modern Sherlock, it made it all the more interesting to watch how he ameliorated the work already done well by Brett. I think it was better that he was a current Sherlock, so as to not ruin the genius work Brett did with the period Sherlock. For instance, Cumberbatch, modern Sherlock plays him with some very revamped hangups and idiosyncrasies, like his cigarette patches instead of incessantly smoking or the way he seemed to have no clue when he’s being insensitive and rude to people. Which is cool and imaginative. Brett’s Sherlock, was much more a man of class and stature and knew what was appropriate because the period called for it. However, Brett just randomly shouted and laughed hysterically, which made his Sherlock super quirky and cool, as well. Clearly, you can see the late Brett influence in Cumberbatch’s style. Which makes both shows fun to watch. Like when they would express themselves with their hands around their face to communicate some kind of intense thought or deducing process.
I do think the past and present aspect help to balance the comparisons, sort of distance one from the other if you will. I often wonder what the late Brett would think of Cumberbatch’s version of Sherlock, as well as Doyle’s take on how these two acted his written word? What’s also good is the most essential part of the writing hasn’t changed. The two creators of the modern adaptation, did some remarkable tweeks to make the character super relevant to the times now. These actors also have a great stage presence, and its almost like watching a play on TV due to their formidable stage training and few commercial interruptions. Which perhaps, helped to guide them in articulating the foibles of the character, and a great respect for the material.
Finally, there’s nothing wrong with giving Sherlock a facelift as long as you keep the essentials in tact, like, not changing the gender of Watson. Having said that, somehow, the American version cheapens the subject matter and it becomes a whole other show. Kind of like the show Monk. Instead of the legendary Sherlock Holmes. Also, I must restate from my previous blog entry, Jonny Lee Miller playing Holmes in the American version isn’t a bad actor. He’s just a fish out of water playing it in New York and with a female assistant. Which is straying it too far out of the box to stay true to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic…Thank goodness the Brits knew better then that. I have to say it makes me a little embarrassed to be an American with this silly attempt at Sherlock Holmes. Shame on us!!
Musings & Rants by Shazza
- Elementary, is a huge “NO”!!! (shazza91321.wordpress.com)