2011 gave us Gnomeo & Juliet, the re-telling of the classic Shakespearean play ‘Romeo and Juliet’, and 2018 is not one to disappoint. Enter Sherlock Gnomes. While both these films have A-list voices and bring famous works of literature to a younger audience, the gnome franchise is one ‘gnomebody’ (am I doing it right?) really asked for.
Nominated for a Golden Globe, Gnomeo & Juliet’s star-fuelled cast included the likes of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Sir Michael Caine and Dame Maggie Smith (amongst others) which earned the film its 6.0/10 IMDb rating and a worldwide box office of $193,737,977. And yet, despite the great cast and classic story, this film did nothing but disappoint me and the problem I had with it was quite central – I had a problem with the gnomes.
The issue for me is their existence in adaptations of classic literature
Now, I’m not saying I hate garden gnomes, I’m more than happy for them to exist on lawns. The issue for me is their existence in adaptations of classic literature. Having said that, it must be noted that Gnomeo & Juliet is not a straight-forward adaptation of Shakespeare’s original. Oh no (or should I say, ‘oh gnome’), there is far more depth and complexity to this tale. Gnomeo & Juliet is set in a universe which has already seen ‘Romeo and Juliet’ retold through the years. The animation features a statue of William Shakespeare with the spirit of Bard within it and James McAvoy’s character ‘Gnomeo’ learns of the similarities between his own adventures and that of the protagonist of Shakespeare’s play. Learning this, Gnomeo convinces himself that his fate has been determined, unless he can do something to change it – although this just seemed to result in never-ending damages to two gardens.
Although both Gnomeo and Juliet did get their happy ending (spoiler: unlike in Shakespeare’s version), it certainly was not the end. A sequel is coming out soon. One that features the familiar faces of Gnomeo and Juliet, with the introduction of the protagonist and title character ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ (sigh) and his trusty companion Dr. Watson. Sherlock Gnomes comes with even more celebrity voices, including Mary J. Blige, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Johnny Depp – who voices the world’s most famous garden gnome detective.
Having said that, Sherlock Gnomes is not on my watch-list and hopefully we won’t be seeing any more gnomes on the big screen
Both films are produced by Elton John’s film company Rocket Pictures, and feature some of Elton John’s greatest hits. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, colourfully-animated and a less thought-provoking film – the gnome series are the perfect choice. Having said that, Sherlock Gnomes is not on my watch-list and hopefully we won’t be seeing any more gnomes on the big screen. I don’t think the world is quite ready for the ‘Agnomement’ or ‘Gnometeen Eighty-Four’.