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irene adler

Once the remaining two episodes of Sherlock series two air i'll probably do some sort of review and compare/contrast analysis between that and the new Holmes movie, but i wanted to have a quick word about the treatment of Irene Adler's character in both franchises.

I found the first Sherlock Holmes movie to be pretty dull, concerned more with generic action and witty punchlines dressed in a surface treatment of the Sherlock Holmes universe that ignores the true depth of the characters that makes the original books so great. It felt more like poorly written fan fiction, especially when compared to what Moffat and Gatiss did with Sherlock in series one which despite being set in modern times felt more true to the characters and spirit of the original.

(Game of Shadows was much better, but never mind about that at the moment.)

Irene Adler is a good case in point. in both of the Ritchie movies, Adler comes across as being an accomplished thief, but despite allusions to pre-movie encounters in which Adler outwits Holmes, she does not come off in the films as being more than just a damsel in distress that's in over her head. Another example of what seems like Ritchie and company just looking at the Cliff Notes version of what Adler's character is supposed to be about, or at the very least interpreting the character like they interpret every other character in the film: everything served as window dressing to the Great Sherlock Holmes who could Do No Wrong.

By contrast, the Irene Adler introduced in A Scandal in Belgravia is much more believable as Holmes's equal or superior. Never mind the various ways in which she one-ups Holmes in action and in conduct; her essence and mannerisms are ones that continually challenge him and keep him (seemingly) off balance, but in a way that is not bludgeon-over-the-head. There's a lot more depth to her character and her relationship to Holmes in Moffat's treatment that's wonderful to watch, which makes the Turning Point that much more powerful and, oddly enough, potentially much more disturbing.

which deserves more explanation, but i'm trying to keep this spoiler-free. I may touch upon it again in a future entry once the rest of series 2 airs.

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girfan
Jan. 3rd, 2012 11:48 pm (UTC)
Did you do my Sherlock poll?


It was a fluke that my husband and I saw the new Sherlock film in the afternoon before the new Sherlock was on the BBC. I didn't realise at first that the Irene Adler character was the same character. I prefer the television Sherlock and really liked her. I assume she will appear again.

lifeofmendel
Jan. 4th, 2012 01:05 am (UTC)
i didn't. over the holidays i was scarcely on the internet, so i was in super skim mode on LJ. I"ll go back and do it now.

I liked the Irene Adler from the telly series much much better, but as i'll allude to later when i do a proper review, i found it somewhat annoying that she turned out to be yet another example of a strong and exceptional woman whose flaws get exposed due because of a display of submissiveness towards a man.
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