I am Sherlock Holmes

Holmes is interrogated for the murder of John Watson, and the famous detective realizes a surprising truth.

Genre: Drama

Length: 06:30

Free To View

3.5 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Sherice Griffiths,

Director/s : Sherice Griffiths, 

Writer/s : Sherice Griffiths, 

Actor/s : Johnny Neal, Jennifer Preston

 

Elementary, my dead Watson

Perfectly appropriate theme music (by Mark Payne) opens this film, but it’s misleading. Yes, it’s a detective story, but not as we know it.

A modern-day Sherlock Holmes is in his room, being questioned by a female Inspector Lestrade (a nice touch). Her enquiry concerns the untimely death of Dr John Watson. It takes an unexpected turn when Lestrade asks about Holmes’s relationship with Watson. “Were you lovers?” she asks. “Did you want to be?”

Then suddenly he’s in another room, well, the same room, in another time, shouting “I did not kill John Watson!”, and another man says “I’m not dead.”

To reveal more would be to spoil the plot. Suffice to say that the two men do indeed seem to be lovers, and Holmes is paranoid that Moriarty is trying to frame him.

The film was supported by the volunteering organisation V Inspired, and by Comic Relief. It’s not a comedy, and it aims to use this story to raise awareness about mental illness in the LGBT community.

It has undoubted social worth, but Short Film Reviews is here to report on its entertainment value. There’s a lot to like in this film, to be sure, but the flair and dramatic promise of the opening rather fizzles out at the end. More spark in the lines would lift a dialogue-dependent script, and a variety of camera angles, lighting, and details of mise-en-scene would reinforce the mood and the story.

Johnny Neal does the heavy lifting, ably portraying Holmes’s cold contemptuousness of Lestrade, then his near breakdown with Watson. But beyond this, it lacks an extra something that would lift it from good, to memorable.

Still, producer/writer/director Sherice Griffiths can be proud of a great achievement on a micro-budget.

x