About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

13 September 2015

Movie: Mr Holmes

There has been a rash of Sherlock Holmes adaptations in the recent past - from the action hero, to the modern adaptation to the faithful reproductions. In this crowded space, Mr Holmes is different - an aged, retired Sherlock Holmes tries to reconstruct his final case that led him to retirement - but his failing memory and body doesn't help his cause. In between the case recollection, there is a small side story about a Japanese man helping him with "medicinal" assistance to improving his memory and a great story about his widowed housekeeper and her young son; and more importantly the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and the son.

The highlight is undoubtedly the acting - of both Sir Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes and of Milo Parker as the inquisitive young boy. The performance of Ian McKellen as a 90 odd year man, losing his memory and for that matter other physical abilities was just astounding - especially given his rather superhero performances in the X-Men series and Lord of the Rings. The plot is rather mundane, there is not much in the mystery to be honest (and it somewhat goes against Conan Doyle's characterisation) - but the acting is a joy to watch.

Animal Farm - The Stage Production

I first read Animal Farm in high school, before really knowing its reputation (it was not school work, although I read it after 1984, which was). The story of struggle, achieving a free and equitable society, which then collapses is perhaps more pertinent than ever - in South Africa and elsewhere.

Market Theatre recently concluded an incredible stage adaptation of Animal Farm, with some South African references (e.g. the installation of a firepool) and wider African references (e.g. Napoleon dressing up as Mobuto Sese Seko). 

The highlight was certainly the incredible acting performances from the entire cast. Each of the actors took on multiple roles, but each role was perfectly cast and executed. M called the performance the best we had seen; and it was not just the plot line. There was something in the performance that is difficult to explain; but it was impressive and just kept the audience spellbound. 

It's a performance that deserves to be seen, again and again.