Sherlock Holmes Honors the Dead (“Mr. Holmes”, 2015)

In the climactic scene of Mr. Holmes, the titular detective – aged 93 and very near to the end of his own life – mimics a memorial ritual he had witnessed in Japan to honor the deceased.

In the context of this story, the scene has a special poignancy in that it seems to contradict Holmes’ oft-professed reliance on science and logic over such frivolities as sentiment and poetic imagination. By partaking in a symbolic ritual, however, he acknowledges the limitations of pure reason when it comes to the human mysteries of life and death.

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