by Ellen Gillingham
In “The Mazarin Stone,” Arthur Conan Doyle creates a thought provoking mystery case in a short story about the fictionally famous Sherlock Holmes. The story is written in third person, but most of Doyle’s stories are in first person. This unique literary aspect illuminates the character of Holmes because it seems that he is portrayed objectively. Additionally, the story shows the wittiness of Holmes as he peruses a stolen gem, while his life is in danger. His attitude illuminates a theme that being observant along with sly can mislead and trick others because they can be caught in a web of lies.
Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes focuses on Sherlock Holmes as he solves a world-scale mystery. The film makes use of filmic aspects such as slow motion to emphasize Sherlock Holmes’s attention to detail. This allows the audience to observe his thought process as Holmes faces the villain. However, this adds an action hero characteristic to Holmes. With this added physical action, the film focuses on a theme of using all of one’s gifts. Holmes and Watson seem to be equally skilled with fighting with fists, guns, and swards. The characters seem to be multi-dimensional and well rounded.
Guy Ritchie used the Sherlock Holmes character that has been featured repeatedly in the written, film, and television versions with added entertaining aspects. In Guy Richie’s Sherlock Holmes, the main character is represented as a young, intelligent, and resourceful detective. In other versions, he has been portrayed as old or a smoker. A strong point that Richie made in adapting the film was the language and humor. Doyle’s dialogue and wit was an inspiration for Sherlock Holmes’s character. On the other hand, Richie’s challenged lie in entertaining the modern audience. Slow motion, plentiful violence, and romantic relationships are added as an action and entertainment value. The added elements of the film made the characters well-rounded and plot entertaining. However, the Holmes character is not as different as he seems because Conan Doyle’s original conception has been morphed many times by other adaptions.
This youtube video is an interview for A Game of Shadows and Sherlock Holmes that discusses actors’ roles and influences for Sherlock Holmes.
This interview with Guy Ritchie discusses his filmmaking experience along with script writing.
This article focuses on cocaine’s effects on Sherlock Holmes and Robert Downey, Jr.
This article, “Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes: The Cocaine Connection,” is important in understanding why the use of cocaine is a critical point of focus for critics when analyzing the adaption. It also links the actor to the character through their shared use of cocaine to bring about intellectual highs. It also shows that different perspectives were portrayed in Conan Doyle’s works concerning addiction and drug use. Overall, the article says that Downey Jr. connects well with Holmes because of this common addiction. Although the cocaine use is not physical part of the plot, the fact that the actor is familiar with how cocaine affects him suggests that this character trait is not completely left out.
Based on your reading of “The Mazarin Stone,” is Robert Downey Jr. a faithful, or radically innovative, Holmes?
Robert Downey Jr. is not radically innovative, but also not completely faithful to my reading of “The Mazarin Stone” instead, he is faithful to the characteristics of the Sherlock Holmes franchise. It is true Downey Jr. was faithful to the character of Holmes, but most of his characteristics are a result of the Sherlock Holmes franchise and escape the bonds of Conan Doyle’s original concept. This may be a result of Downey Jr. reading many Sherlock Holmes stories and watching The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in order to learn more about the character. The way Downey Jr. performs in Sherlock Holmes and other films show that he is suited for mysterious roles. His performance in Iron Man displays that he excels at large speaking roles where he can be himself. However, Doyle’s original is a man who is compassionate and has a strong sense of justice. For instance, in “The Mazarin Stone” when Holmes has a clear case against both villains, he lays it out upon the table and considers the thieves’ motives logically to find the stone. In the film, Holmes’s character is more of an action hero, as seen in the slow motion fighting scene and the fact that the film’s mystery is on a global scale. Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes made a dynamic main character from the Sherlock Holmes franchise. Still, he encompassed elements from Doyle’s “The Mazarin Stone,” but also incorporated other depictions of Holmes.