By Piotr Wysmyk
Born in 1968 – British Director.
Ritchie gained recognition from the film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) – his debut feature film. His career succeeded further in 2000 with the release of Snatch. Although Guy Ritchie’s career in film industry hit a low point, he was still in the centre of attention due to his marriage with Madonna (married in 2000, divorced in 2008).
Sherlock Holmes (2009) and its sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) earned Ritchie his comeback, earning him a huge box office success. They were later followed by The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017, for now it is the last production of this director).
Sherlock Holmes VS Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – (Review)
Sherlock Holmes and its sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows are probably Guy Ritchie’s biggest box office successes. Although the sequel is the direct continuation of the previous movie, each film presents its own, unique approach to storytelling and filmmaking techniques.
Sherlock Holmes introduces all the main characters such as Sherlock Holmes, his partner John Watson and also some supporting characters (e.g. Mary Morstan and Irene Adler). This time the famous detective meets his match in Lord Henry Blackwood – the villainous member of the secret cult. His sinister purpose is to plunge the English population in fear of him in order to take over the whole country. Sherlock Holmes puts much effort to take the villain down but it proves to be a very hard task due to Henry Blackwood’s supernatural forces. He clearly seems to have the Devil on his side…
From its very beginning, Sherlock Holmes seems to be packed with darkness, mystery and suspense. The film is usually set in dangerous, gloomy streets of 19th century London. One of the main focuses of the movie is the horrible world of crime with enigmatic Lord Henry Blackwood at its centre. There are many weird, unexplained deaths/disappearing’s and the audience has to wait until the very end to get to know the solutions to these riddles. From a technical point of view, the film’s colour palette (darkened in post production, stripped of the natural colourfulness) and the selection of specific music/sound builds a disturbing atmosphere of darkness, gloominess and mystery.
In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows the detective has to fight against his arch enemy – Dr James Moriarty. The evil doctors plan is to take over the arms industry and start a world war in order to earn money by selling weapons. Sherlock Holmes and his allies prove to be determined to stop the vicious plan. However, the Moriarty’s power of destruction plunges all of them into the cruel race for their lives.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows presents something totally different than the previous movie. It shifted from gloomy streets of London to the international setting (different parts of England, Germany, France, Switzerland). The main basis of this film is the constant threat of politico-diplomatic disaster (outbreak of the world war), instead of the mystery of dark powers. In such a manner, the whole storyline gains a more militaristic character (e.g. more shoot-outs, soldiers from different countries, presentation of many types of weaponry of 1890s). From the technical point of view, this atmosphere is additionally highlighted by the slow motion scenes (e.g. reloading the guns, flying bullets).
- Guy Ritchie’s biography, available online at: https://www.biography.com/people/guy-ritchie-201267
- King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, 2017. Directed by Guy Ritchie. USA: Safehouse Picures.
- Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, 1998. Directed by Guy Ritchie. UK: SKA Films.
- Sherlock Holmes, 2009. Directed by Guy Ritchie. USA/Germany: Warner Bros.
- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, 2011. Directed by Guy Ritche. USA: Warner Bros.
- Snatch, 2000. Directed by Guy Ritchie. USA/UK: Columbia Pictures Corporation.
- The Man from U.N.C.L.E., 2015. Directed by Guy Ritchie. USA/UK: Warner Bros.