Movie Review: Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (2016)

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Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

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As an eternal fan
 of Sherlock Holmes, the launch of special movie "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" at the beginning of 2016, such as a lake that appear in the middle of the desert. Because the advanced season of British television program "Sherlock", which was originally scheduled to be aired in 2016 turned out to be postponed to 2017 due to the busyness of the cast.

Trailer Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

Video Source: Youtube


After watching the trailer for the first time, "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" managed to bring my curiosity because of the time-line that is set in the 19th century. This time setting in accordance with the original time setting of the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. My first question is what is the relationship between special movie "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" with the British television program Sherlock, which were broadcast on BBC One?

Directed by
Written by

Produced by
Featured music

Cinematography by
Editing by
Original air date
Running time
Douglas Mackinnon
Mark Gatiss
Steven Moffat
Sue Vertue
David Arnold
Michael Price
Suzie Lavelle
Andrew McClelland
1 January 2016
89 minutes

"Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" offers an alternative timeline and used the Victorian London setting of the original stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. The title is based on Sherlock’s quotes on "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual", which refers to a case that mentioned by him "Ricoletti of the club foot and his abominable wife".


The Abominable Bride

In London late 1980s, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) meet with a strange and puzzling case. Emelia Ricoletti (Natasha O'Keeffe), a crazy bride, committed suicide by firing a pistol to her mouth. But strangely, she re-emerged and try to kill her husband before disappearing into the mist. Sherlock and Dr. Watson also found five men who died with similar patterns in different locations. Who is the figure behind those crimes? Is it true that Emilia rose from the grave and kill those victims, where the woman who committed suicide is had been positively identified as Emelia Ricoletti?

Emilia Ricoletty, The Crazy Bride

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Nothing Made Me Watson, I Made Me

Last series of British television program “Sherlock” greet the audience at the beginning of 2014 ago, and with the potential for the release of the 4th season in early 2017 then automatically British television program “Sherlock” will be sidelined for three years. Is "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" becomes a prequel that attempts to cure the disappointment of the audience due to the length of absences series British television program “Sherlock”? Yes, I had a similar assessment at first, but after watching this film it actually raises a slightly different view. Simply put, it is an attempt of Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat to try something that might be a little risky if it is injected into the series. Where Sherlock and Dr. Watson are dealing with something far beyond logic that is grappling with ghosts as the object of investigation.

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Cases that relating to mystical matters is not the first time appeared in the series "Sherlock". One of the episode from “Sherlock Season 2” titled "The Sign of Three" had been slightly touched the mystical element. However, what is done by 
"Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" is much deeper. Even if you try to stay firm on the assessment that the cases of murder that happened in the movie "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" is a criminal act committed by human beings, the mystical element of crazy bride ghost was very sharp in making the audience shaky. Do Emelia Ricoletti really a ghost? Is it true perpetrators of all crimes that are ghosts? The questions never went away until the end. These have also led to the procedural story carried by Sherlock and Dr. Watson became feels slightly different. More fresh, that is the impression created by the film"Sherlock: The Abominable Bride". Especially with a groove that feels wild with a mixture of comedy, mystery, crime, thriller, and horror caused plot moves very pleasant.

Mrs Hudson, the landlady of 221B Baker Street

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So many genres as used here may cause some fans of the series "Sherlock", looked at the film "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" is a bit off in terms of "the sense of Sherlock". Rather than focus on the common image of Sherlock, a high-functioning sociopath with brilliant brain and famous by his deduction technique, instead "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" emphasizes the moment when Sherlock successfully cornered by cases that beyond of his logic. Even in"Sherlock: The Abominable Bride", Sherlock was “forced” to surpass the maximum limit of his own “mind palace” technique which is almost cost his life. It’s like one of Dr. Watson’s quotes at the beginning of the film who said “But in all our many adventure together, no case pushed my friend to such mental and physical extremes as that of The Abominable Bride”. Although "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" may looks more like an experimental effort to bring something beyond the standard concept of the series "Sherlock", but the mystery offered by this movie successfully gripped the audience until the end of the story.

Watson Meet with the Crazy Bride Ghost

Video Source: Youtube

But the effort to try a little off-track of what they've done over the last three seasons, "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" reached their main targets. The mystery that quizzical successfully bind the fascination of the audience from beginning to end. The combination of many genres makes Sherlock: The Abominable Bride feels a bit "naughty", ranging from stories, visualization, to the acting of the cast. Benedict Cumberbatch even managed to give the funniest performances as Sherlock so far. And it's hard not to be fascinated by the collaboration between himself and Martin Freeman – both of them success in order to visualize the love-hate relationship between Sherlock and Dr. Watson.

Mr Holmes and Dr. Watson, The Perfect Combo

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Since the beginning "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" is intended for fans of Sherlock, which will show the impression of "not important" for general audiences. However, for fans of Sherlock, the film is a special edition that feels lovable. In addition, by bringing alternative timeline managed to make the audience get precise visualization of the original setting of the story of Sherlock Holmes. It would be something remarkable for the fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work. Obviously, my score is 10 out of 10!! 

---- Haraka


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