Analysis of Book: The Mazarin Stone, Arthur Conan Doyle

Doyle uses the wit and charm of Holmes combined with his intellect to create an adventure story, a suspense that uncovers the issues of identity and espionage and deceit. Holmes has many enemies, as made clear in the Mazarin Stone, but at the same time loyal companions and people who are afraid of him- he is quite well known. What Doyle explores is the concept of lying and deceit, and when it is used. Holmes uses it to uncover things for the purposes of uncovering or to take objects such as the diamond away from the antagonists, in this case the Count and the boxer. However, Count Sylvius and the boxer use lying in order to get away with taking the stone, and lie for their own benefit. It can then be inferred that they lie for business purposes whereas Homles lies in order to uncover truth and find justice.

Analysis of movie:

In the film Sherlock Holmes directed by Guy Ritchie, Holmes utilizes both his intellect and physical ability to uncover the truth. Though he is removed from society, at least compared to Watson, he is entangled within a love scheme with Irene, who is both his lover and intellectual match. The film explores Holme’s relationship with people, specifically Watson and Irene, and how he interacts with those outside of his close relatinoships. He is seen as witty and charming, and able to engage an entire audience yet in the very beginning he shows a disdain for the public world as Watson draws the curtains. What Ricthie then is describing is Holme’s natural gift for assimilation in to the world, his high intellect, and his affinity to solving mysteries with his knowledge of the world despite his social awkwardness and withdrawal from society.

Analysis of adaptation

Guy Ritchie’s adaptation mostly differs from Doyle’s original in that it is catered to an older audience that is more familiar with the themes of violence and romance and magic. Unlike the Holmes in Doyle’s edition, Ritchie’s Holmes is much more vocal, physical, and in love- ie, he is more integrated with society than Doyle perhaps intended. The amount of violence Ritchie included showed Holme’s ability to calculate attacks in the span of seconds, but it also separated the film from the more childlike stories that Doyle had probably written for. The romance not only deviated from the original, in which Holmes had no lady love, but also captured the attnetion of the older audience (teenagers and older) with its devastated love, Romeo and juliet, mr and mrs. smith type love story. The magic aspect also played a similar role and required the audience to be able to understand the demystification of the magic used, which a child probably would not be analytically able to do.

Online research

1.) http://collider.com/director-guy-ritchie-exclusive-interview-sherlock-holmes/12726/

Weintraub interviews Ritchie about the elements important to the new adaptation and interpretation of Doyle’s stories for an older audience, including Robert Downey Junior specifically cast as Holmes for his personality and the newly included fight scenes not original to the text.

2.http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/2009/12/its-brilliant-perfect-lets-change-it-an-interview-with-sherlock-holmes-fight-choreographer-richard-ryan/ In this interview with Richard Ryan, the fight choreographer, Tony Wolf uncovers the behind the scenes and strategy behind the Victorian fighting styles in the movie and how the fighting evolved based on the relationship between Holmes and Watson. Due to the closeness of the characters, Ryan wanted to make it so that they fed off of each other, aside from the Punch Bowl scene and the ending, which were to show Holmes’ intellect and to end the movie with Holmes defeating teh main antagonist, respectively. The amount of practice and research that went in to developing the style of fighting paid off and created the amalgamation of modern day, contemporary fighting (boxing, etc) with the Victorian influence, with ths use of canes, foot work and such. The fight scenes were not only entertainment, but an insight in to the collaboration of Holmes and Watson and a look in to Holmes’ mind.

3.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAIHw55aeWM

In this interview of Dwney and Law, the interviewer (who makes some questionable assumptions) delves in to the relationship Holmes and Watson and how each actor decided to interpret their characters and work together to create the perfect chemistry.

Critical analysis

We see twice in the film Holmes’s clinical application of violence. Which does it show better: Holmes’s brilliant intellect, or his masculine physicality? Or does it show both equally well?

Holmes’ ability to analyze step by step in the time span of a few seconds while letting go of emotional responses (when he is fighting the boxer in the Punch Bowl scene, he mutters to himself not to respond on an emotional level) speaks more to his intellect than his masculine physicality. Although he did win the fights both times he talked out the movements, they required less physical strength and more speed and knowledge of the human body and its breaking points. The display of his masculine physicality came later in the scenes where he and Watson fought together without the insight in to Holmes’ mind.

Advertisements