03 January 2012

Sherlock and tradition

So do you like originals, the traditional, the classics? Does the new and innovative, the different, get you jazzed?

I went to see the The Dark Shadow this weekend. The second of the "new" Sherlock movies. Disclaimer: I suspend my disbelief easily. I had a good time. I enjoyed both these new Sherlock movies. My mother on the other hand hated the first one and no doubt will not be attending the second. She likes Sherlock old school style.

I have watched the old Jeremy Brett Sherlock interpretations, black and white versions from days before I was born, I've watched PBS versions and I've enjoyed myself. This is also true of another old friend, Hercule Poirot from Agatha. I've also read books by these greats of mystery and enjoyed them.

While I have no doubt the authors, were they alive, would have all kinds of opinions on the interpretations of their characters, I wonder does it always have to be the original to be good? I have a feeling our Sherlockian purist friends out there are not impressed by this modern version of Sherlock. Yet I hear the echo of those original books in him to some extent. To give the producers of the movie credit, there's no way to please everyone, so you just gotta jump in the water. (pun intended if you've seen the film).

It begs two questions. 1. Is only the original legit? and 2. Who says which one is the original?

A similar debate is raging in certain church circles too. Music traditional or new? It seems like the two sides square off quite forcefully on the tradition and new debate whether they are inside the church or out. People have strong opinions.

I have to ask as someone who can take a story for what it is or a song for that matter, can we not have it both ways? Does this make me wishy-washy? I can watch the old versions of Sherlock and enjoy a good story. I can watch the new one and enjoy a good story. For me it's just another version, another interpretation. Maybe it's just taste and these suit mine. Even when my brain says, Hercule is too fat, or Sherlock is too buff, it's the story that keeps me. I like plot.

The debate perhaps boils down to: is it a good story, or a good song or not? Though a certain amount of that is in the eye of the beholder and whether you were able to suspend your sense of doubt and skepticism long enough to watch. Or whether that song said something to you that clicked deep inside.

It renews my sense of wanting to write a good story with good characters and for people to engage with it!

1 comment:

  1. I think this argument shows up any time a movie interprets a book. I did think while I watched both movies that this does not feel like a traditional interpretation of the character. I like it, and perhaps because it brought something new to the character.