With time, even the master of disguise has aged. It’s 1947 and Sherlock (Ian McKellen) has turned 93. Watson’s left and Mycroft’s dead, leaving Sherlock all by himself. He’s retired, and has only his housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her son, Roger (Milo Parker), for company. The film revolves around the bond shared by the two: Sherlock and Roger. Roger, who is a curious little boy, is fascinated by Sherlock and his brilliant tales. The young lad is also the motivation and inspiration Sherlock needs to solve his last case.
Age has not been kind to Sherlock, and he has problems remembering his past clearly, much to his chagrin. The last case he took, the one of Mrs. Kelmot, wasn’t a success and still plays on his mind. Mr. Kelmot’s wife had two miscarriages following which she became depressed and heartbroken. She started talking to her dead children. Her husband tried to confront her, but all he got was denial. Desperate, he’d approached Mr. Holmes.
When he’d brought the case to Sherlock, Mr. Kelmot was almost certain that Sherlock could help. But could he? Years after this incident, Sherlock still has guilt about this case that’s killing him. He could have helped Mrs. Kelmot, but for some reason, he made the wrong decisions. He must resolve this case to move on. But his memory plays games with him, making his own facts seem unreliable. A cruel irony for a man who prefers facts over fiction.
The director, Bill Condon, masterfully blends suspense and drama to deliver a film that grips you till the very end. Laura Linney is delightful as the English housekeeper and Milo Parker is a remarkable discovery. The cinematographer makes the most of the lavish green countryside, making reality a rude shock for the audience when they return to 2015. Mitch Cullin, who wrote the book "A Slight Trick of the Mind" on which the film is based, has no reasons to complain and much to be happy about.
Why you should watch this film:
Ian McKellen has outdone himself with this performance. His Sherlock has depth and heart. Every actor has delivered brilliantly and the director has portrayed Old England quite believably. Great scripts are rare, and this is definitely one of them.