Wednesday, 6 January 2010

In Defence of Guy Ritchie (For

We've all seen the gory gangster fight scenes, we've all enjoyed opening title sequences, and we've loved how a director manages the chemistry and collaboration of actors working well together on screen. But no one does it quite like Guy Ritchie. He has a passion for his films that is evident in all his movies, whether they are successful or not. And he's just about ready to show not only England, but Hollywood.

He takes minor things such as the title sequence, and makes them interesting, emphasising their importance and not disregarding them to the story - A good example of this is the title sequence in Snatch. He makes the titles slide in, bounce in, fade in, does whatever possible to capture your attention. He employs freeze frames to make you really see the scene, rather than passively being given it. He puts an emphasis on slow motion to really bring detail to the film, and it really shows his strength as a director as seen so well in Sherlock Holmes.

He clearly has a passion for gangster type stories, as most of his films have pretty brutal fight scenes, and although sometimes a little disgusting to watch, he maintains a comic undertone to his film. It may be from the light hearted music constantly playing in the background of his films, or it might be the quirky actors he uses such as Gerard Butler, Vinne Jones and Clive Owen. He has a grubby mise-en-scene which evokes a gritty atmosphere, and then has these comedians fighting. What a contrast.

And as for these actors, the chemistry he creates within the script between the characters is so great to watch, and endearing to the audience. Whether best friends or deadly enemies, it's a thrilling watch, you never really know what turn the film is going to take, and it truly does keep you on the edge. Plus, they usually have this 'bromance' type relationship involved which everyone loves to see.

So, he knows how to write a film, he knows how to direct a film, and he knows how to edit a film. Why hasn't he made more?! It's probably because he loves his British cinema, which is a given, so Hollywood has never really taken a chance on this incredibly talented filmmaker. But now Sherlock's proved to be quite the success, he's sure to be a hit with the producers in the Hills.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Sherlock Holmes ****

Well, it's official. Guy Ritchie can make anything and anyone look cool. Who ever thought that we'd see the day when we would want to be friends with a bit of an obsessive detective? Or maybe it's just Robery Downey Jr. we want to have a good old chinwag with.

This Sherlock Holmes isn't your typical stuck up, I know everything investigator. He's laid back, eccentric, intelligent and pretty much an odd guy. He does have similarities to Captain Jack Sparrow which is brilliantly fun to watch in the film. This has taken the character to a whole new dimension. Some would argue it's not what a true Holmes should be, but trying this new type of character has worked well... As long as he is with his companions in the film Jude Law (Dr. John Watson) and Rachel McAdams (Irene Adler). They all play well off each other, and provide this sense of balance to the crazy life Sherlock holds. The relationships aren't really explained in the film, so you have to have background knowledge on their already existing love for one another.

The reason this new type of character works well is because his life is actually as crazy as this film makes out to be. He's incredibly insightful, and the detail Ritchie has put into the scenes of working out actions and planning is very informative and entertaining. To show this almost madness to the Sherlock Holmes character makes it all the more fun to watch, and brings a new light to this wonderfully talented detective.

Some aspects of his life were a little random. Although brilliantly filmed, the fight scenes in an almost cage like arena seemed a little unnecessary. And as the relationships aren't explained well, it can become a little hard to figure out his true feelings for certain characters. But I guess he was quite the enigma himself, so it all evens out in the end.

The story as a whole in the film is quite easy to follow, and the revealing of plans at the end is fun to watch. It does just seem a little odd as it's almost a fantasy story placed around a very realistic period setting. It just brings this sense of creativity to the film again though.

The real star in this film is the director Guy Ritchie. You can tell from previous films such as Snatch and Lock Stock that he's a talented, experimental person. And this film just shows off his sense of imagination so well. I thought it wouldn't work quite so well as this film is so mainstream, but he's taken his thoughts and put them into this film to create this new vision to period dramas, as well as Sherlock and all other accompanying actors. The colours he's used throughout really pop and set the scene, and the detail in filming is immaculate. It's so easy to follow, yet so interesting to watch that you really can't take your eyes off the screen. I think the way he portrays the thoughts and processes work the best, but really the cinematography as a whole is just candy to the eyes of any film fan.

This is a lighthearted film, with subtle humour running all the way through, along with action scenes to keep you on the edge of your seat. Watch this, please. For Ritchie's sake.