Directed by: #ShericeGriffiths
A grisly murder, a prime suspect – the game is afoot! Sherlock Holmes is back, but the tables have turned: Watson is dead and Holmes’ version of events don’t seem to add up – all is not as it seems in Sherice Griffith’s original and entertaining take on the story of the great detective.
The #shortfilm dives straight in with Sherlock (Johnny Neal) being questioned by Detective Lestrade (Jennifer Preston). It’s all very traditional: the quirky opening tune, plush leather chairs, an open fireplace, a deer stalker resting on a music stand and a pipe on top of a pile of books – as if straight from the pages of one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories with a slightly modern twist. The strong performances of Neal and Preston add to the atmosphere, with Holmes’ arrogance versus Lestrade’s no-nonsense interrogation routine working well and sucking you into the mystery.
I Am Sherlock Holmes has a ring of recent Sherlock Holmes incarnations to it, but just as you start thinking that you’ve seen it all before, the scene shifts and the plot begins to thicken (don’t worry, it won’t take a degree in rocket science to follow what’s going on like in the over-complicated BBC drama with Cumberbatch and Co.). The quick cuts between scenes steadily ramp up the intrigue as the sad reality of the situation begins to unfold, it was just a shame the twist was revealed so soon – I felt that a bit more time spent on building the tension would have added more of an emotional heft at the end. That being said, the chemistry between Holmes and Watson (Gary Beadsmore) is clear, and the way Neal switches effortlessly between emotions is impressive, emphasising the internal conflict within Sean’s mind as he tries desperately to piece together what is going on.
Ultimately, I Am Sherlock Holmes easily hits the mark and the underlying message about the struggles of dealing mental illness is a particularly important one. The way Griffiths seamlessly weaves an #LGBTQ slant into the story without making a big deal about it is also commendable and provides an interesting take on the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Although it’s not a particularly happy ending, it’s an optimistic one, and shows us that with the right support system and treatment, people like Sean can go on to live happy and normal lives.