While fans await the upcoming Sherlock Holmes spinoff Enola Holmes, let’s take a look back into the previous Sherlocks.
Sherlock Holmes, possibly the most popular detective in movies and TV shows since the last century, has been played by several actors through the decades. Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch take the crown for being possibly the most entertaining and popular Sherlocks in the game.
- Which one was more like the Sherlock Holmes in the books?
- The criminals and cases: Who got the better basket?
- Comparing the actor’s performances. Who won?
Robert Downey Jr. played the Victorian-era detective in his movie Sherlock Holmes while Benedict Cumberbatch played the eccentric genius in his TV series Sherlock. While some fans have favored Robert Downey Jr.’s more funny and satirical performance, others seem to show more affection to Benedict Cumberbatch’s more intense and dry wit. Let’s settle it once and for all, who played Sherlock Holmes better, Robert Downey Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch?
Did you know? When Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock, there was a massive storm of controversy and protests against his decision. Such was the love and attachment the character had drawn to himself in Victorian England. While our Sherlocks might differ in their style of acting and character portrayal, both aspire to move the fans in the same way that Doyle did with his books.
Quiz: Which Sherlock Character Are You?
Which one was more like the Sherlock Holmes in the books?
While the two movies in which Robert Downey Jr. played Sherlock Holmes were set in the same time frame as the novels, i.e Victorian Era England of the 19th century, BBC’s Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch is set in a modern day London with Dr. Watson as an Afghanistan war veteran.
In Robert’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’ movies, the detective is portrayed as a restless, eccentric and messy man, which is half true, according to the books. The movies also take the liberty of creating a villain ‘Lord Blackwood’ who is nowhere in the novels or short stories. Albeit its being set in modern day London, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock has seen the most change.
In regards to the character, Cumberbatch himself described him as a “high-functioning psychopath” who deviates from the original character by being even more distant, snarky and cold to those around him.
The criminals and cases: Who got the better basket?
While Sherlock as a TV show takes full creative control and liberty with its storyline, the movies had restricted its storyline more so as to resemble the original novels. In the end of A Game of Shadows we saw Robert Downey Jr. (as Sherlock Holmes) meet up with Dr. Watson in what came as a surprise since he was seen falling to his death with Professor Moriarty just earlier.
Fans speculate that this was done so that a third film could be accommodated. In the matter of stories, there is no match for Benedict’s Sherlock.
Comparing the performances: Who won?
Both portrayals come pretty close in emulating how Sherlock Holmes used his deductive capabilities: Firstly he made a shocking statement regarding the subject, the subject, flabbergasted, asks him how could he possibly have known this, Sherlock explaining to Dr. Watson (and indirectly the audience) how he analysed each detail to come to that specific conclusion in the statement.
Both the actors received a lot of praise and critical acclaim for their respective portrayals but in Sherlock, it got to a point where things got just too unrealistic and fantasy-like for fans, leaving Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock as the most realistic and accurate Sherlock Holmes out of the two. Head over to the comment section below to let us know if you agree or disagree with our verdict!