I love a good movie. A movie that not only entertains, but is intelligent and witty or has great action scenes and special effects. Most movies give you one one or the other - never both. When a movie can capture both I usually will end up enjoying the movie so much I'll buy the DVD when it comes out. It is rare that a movie will cause me to either buy the book it was based on or want to see it again in the movie theater. However, Guy Ritchie's new movie Sherlock Holmes is causing me to do both - and apparently a lot of people feel the same way.
What is it about this movie that made it so enjoyable? First and foremost is the directing of Guy Ritchie. Ever since Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels came out, Ritchie has directed several movies that have a very distinct style to them. Very action and fast-paced, with my favorite being Snatch (especially Brad Pitt's portrayal of a 'Pikey').
The second part of the movie that made it so good was the acting of Robert Downey Jr. It's hard to believe that the guy who plays Ian in Weird Science and has been arrested several times for drug problems is one of the biggest movie stars today. However, Downey Jr. has always been considered a great actor and it is his style that he brings to Sherlock Holmes that removes the stuffy pipe-smoking persona that most of us think of when we imagine who Sherlock Holmes is. Downey Jr.'s performance is summed up great in a Washington Post article:
In the plus column is Downey's performance. The actor gets one important thing just right. That's a sense of Holmes as a brilliant misfit, a kind of autistic savant who hears, sees and remembers everything.
Who else could have pulled this off? Who knows - there are a lot of good actors out there. However, it is Downey Jr's style of acting that really brings home the character and the entire movie.
If you are curious as to what this has to do with communication I am sure you are not alone. Style is a very important feature in public speaking that a lot of people don't think about as much as they should. Style not only in their presentations, but in their language, structure of their speech, gestures, movements - everything. The style of your speech can have a major impact on its success or failure. Don't let a good speech - content wise - turn into a bad speech because you didn't think about the style of the speech.
This is much like a movie. The director and actor's styles can alter a movie - for good or bad. That could have happened with Sherlock Holmes. With a different actor or Director, the results could have been horrible - even with a good story. Luckily (for me at least) the combination of this director's style and the actor's style fit perfectly for a great movie - and I can't wait to buy it on DVD!