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Mr Holmes review: A final hurrah for sleuth Sherlock

Published 19/06/2015

Elementary my dear: Hattie Morahan and Ian McKellen in Mr Holmes
Elementary my dear: Hattie Morahan and Ian McKellen in Mr Holmes

Mr Holmes imagines the twilight years of one of literature's icons, who is facing the grim reality of dementia with what remains of his once-glorious wit. This Sherlock, portrayed with dignity and steely resolve by Sir Ian McKellen, is no longer the aloof master of deduction who traversed the pages of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's imagination.

Instead, he tends bees on the Sussex coast, haunted by the one case he failed to solve - if only he could recall the facts.

The year is 1947 and Sherlock Holmes, now 93, struggles to piece together fractured memories and infuriates his widowed housekeeper, Mrs Munro (Laura Linney).

Her spirited son Roger (Milo Parker) is fascinated by Sherlock and the boy shows a natural aptitude with the bees. The lad inspires Sherlock to delve into the fog of the past to recall his only unsolved case - a missing person inquiry in 1919 involving a distraught husband, Thomas Kelmot (Patrick Kennedy), and his beautiful wife Ann (Hattie Morahan).

As Sherlock's addled mind drifts between that ill-fated pre-war investigation and the present, the old man edges ever closer to an inglorious end.

Mr Holmes is distinguished by McKellen's measured central performance and the strong support from rising star Parker.

Three stars

Belfast Telegraph

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