A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bored... bored... bored

I should be studying. Yeah, I've got to slog through this Cert IV course for my new job. It's hard because my brain is resisting the tedium and the ridiculous amount of gobbledegook it has to process.
Instead I'm scouring the internet and spending time on the Sherlock and Sherlock Holmes message boards engaging in Holmesian disputes.

Aaaaaargh.. but it's gotta be done. The study, that is... not the Holmesian minutiae.
I'm feeling like Sherlock at the beginning of "The Great Game". Fortunately I haven't got a gun or the walls might need redocorating.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sherlock Holmes: The Game of Shadows (2012)

I'll be the first to admit that the Robert Downey Jr version of the British supersleuth is almost nothing like the Sherlock Holmes of the Conan Doyle oeuvre. I say "almost" because there are aspects of the characterization that still retains a couple of Holmesian fundamentals: The observational, deductive flair and the superhuman meticulous attention to detail. Downey's incarnation is also a benevolent mad professor scientist and the running gag from this and the first film is that he's constantly experimenting on Watson's pet dog.

Where this iteration largely parts company with canon is how Holmes is written and portrayed. Downey's Holmes is an arrogant Peter Pan of genius proportions. A prodigy who revels in adventure but refuses to grow up. Perhaps a commentary on a pervading malaise of our time.

In short, the film is insanely noisy, grubby and rocket-paced which could work against or in its favour.
However, for some reason, it doesn't diminish this long-time Holmesian fan's enjoyment of the latest rambunctious installment of the franchise. Maybe I'm not the purist I thought I was.

Well, in truth, I'm not.

If there's a word that sums up the film, it's "funny". The new Sherlock Holmes film is exceedingly funny... and fun. Well, at least it appeals largely to my sense of humour. Downey has great comic timing and well, his chemistry with Jude Law is palpable. And the dialogue sparkles.

The main storyline is actually fairly straightforward. Sherlock takes on his arch adversary, the formidable Prof Moriarty and a trail of killing and destruction ensues. In fact I suspect the director takes a fiendish glee in gun fights and blowing stuff up. But it wouldn't be Sherlock Holmes without the stupefying leaps of logic and the furious sparring with the villain.

The Professor is played by Jarred Harris, who is very good in the role. He's no James Bond villain but he has the ambitions of a Bond villain nonetheless. Definitely a foe worthy of our favourite Baker Street residents.

I adore Jude Law's Watson. He is so equally at home with a firearm and a scalpel that you almost believe he was born to play the role. His Watson is trying his hardest to get married and embark on a honeymoon but the relationship shy Holmes does his most to deter his longtime comrade and friend before grudgingly accepting the inevitable.

There's been a lot of criticism about the overabundance of kungfooey antics in these updates but it hasn't bothered me. Even Sherlock Holmes must succumb to the onslaught of postmodern pastiche it seems.What I especially appreciate about the fight scenes here are how much they feel like a chess game. It's more cerebral than your usual punch ups. The audience is given glimpses into the inner workings of Holmes' mind as he manages to keep two steps ahead of his adversaries.

I speak as a truly happy fangirl. In the last couple of years we've had a veritable feast with the BBC's Sherlock and Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes franchise. Nobody can have too much Sherlock Holmes even if it's not kosher Conan Doyle.

I don't make resolutions as a rule

As a matter of habit, I don't make resolutions. Since I've had the girls, I've more or less tried to take one day at a time. It has worked for me because it has tempered that innate restlessness that lurks in my personality.
When one has children, changing the world seems a useless, abstract goal when one can't even have mastery over oneself.
The events of last year has made the case to me (if life in general hasn't already) that life is fairly unpredictable.

But if there is one resolution (if we can use that term) that I should have, it is that of faithfulness. Faithfulness in the larger matters and in the microscopic mundane things.
Faithfulness is less of resolution than it is an attitude and perhaps even an ability.

Over and over again, the Bible tells us that God is faithful mainly to reassure us in dark times. But I don't doubt that it is also a reminder to us that faithfulness is a quality that his people need to inculcate, cultivate, nurture... etc.

My calling is to be a wife, a mother and a teacher. Sometimes I'm rather bad at it but I think God knows it and doesn't leave me to me own resources.

Reality is hard work... very hard work and it requires plodding quite often. There are no short cuts really. Perseverance and grace to just keep plodding.