Saturday, January 05, 2008

A Scandal in Bohemia?

Hi friends,

Yes, it's a big scandal, one that could have changed the face of Europe. But hey, not to worry. It happened a long time ago and in fiction (thanks to the work of a great man named Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). this, my friends, was the first ever episode of the Sherlock Holmes series. I loved reading all of the 56 short stories and one of the novels (The Hound of the Baskervilles). But seeing the man in action in his cases beats reading!

Jeremy Brett plays Sherlock Holmes, who is perhaps one of the most interesting fictional characters ever created. This actor ws born to play Holmes - his mannerisms, his style, his looks - All reminded one of the mysterious Holmes. He smoked a lot Holmes, something which cause his early death before the completion of filming all of Holmes' stories. But I leant one thing - He was dyslexic and hence called himself "an academic disaster". He, however, excelled in singing. Reminds you of something? Yes, the latest movie "Taare Zameen Par" is also about something similar - A dyslexic kid having other talents. In my opinion, Mr. Brett is one of the finest examples that I can give of a person with dyslexia having a great life ahead. So are studies really important? More on that later....

Hey, I never favour the main actors, right? I always look at the role of the sidekicks too (something I always love to play in any play or in a movie). And here comes the best of them all - Dr. Watson, played by one Mr. Edward Hardwicke. I have seen many episodes of this series and I have come to admire the role of Dr. Watson more and more. In the books, he was a narrator and then the confidate of Holmes, but on TV, we can see him in flesh and blood - This made the role even more interesting.

But what is with Bohemia? And a scandal? Well, this was the first episode of the series, based on the first Holmes' short story of the same name. And this novel introduced the character who was supposed to be the most influential character in the life of Holmes, only next to Dr. Watson. And it was a woman -Irene Alder played by Gayle Hunnicutt. She was the only woman to have beaten Holmes at his own game and was also perhaps the only woman he was romantically linked to. Watson writes about her as such:

"To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen, but as a lover he would have placed himself in a false position. He never spoke of the softer passions, save with a gibe and a sneer. They were admirable things for the observer--excellent for drawing the veil from men's motives and actions. But for the trained reasoner to admit such intrusions into his own delicate and finely adjusted temperament was to introduce a distracting factor which might throw a doubt upon all his mental results. Grit in a sensitive instrument, or a crack in one of his own high-power lenses, would not be more disturbing than a strong emotion in a nature such as his. And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory."

He refers to her as "late" because he presumes a change in her name after her marriage. She is mentioned a few other times in the series. So she did not die in the series atleast. But the thing that struck me was that a woman could have made such a impression on a person like Holmes, who used to stay away from women so as not to get attracted to their guile. He considered them to be very fickle and said that their most insignificant actions can be their most significant and vice-versa. I am not entirely in agreement with this, but I can agree with him based on my own experiences (however trivial they are).

This series has been my best experience so far, ever better than "LOST". There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your childhood favourite on screen, played so well!! Thank you Mr. Brett for making my days!!




Yes, Jeremy Brett could sing - he did the role of the inane but lovable Freddy Eynsford-Hill in the 1964 movie 'My Fair Lady' and sang the beautiful romantic 'On The Street Where You Live'. How we loved it - and him.
To see him many years later (in the 1980s I think; yes, DD sometimes did telecast good stuff) as the gaunt and sensitive Holmes was quite a change.

IIM ka Sarkari Babu said...

"My Fair Lady" is on my download list now. And DD used to rock!!!