If you look at the team that put together Enola Holmes, it gives you an assurance – this is definitely going to be a fun ride. And a fun ride it is. Directed by Harry Bradbeer of Fleabag fame, Enola Holmes features a star cast that includes Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things fame, Henry Cavill of Man of Steel fame, Sam Claflin of Hunger Games fame, and other stellar performers including Helena Bonham Carter, Fiona Shaw and more. No expense has been spared to bring to life the story of the younger sister in the Holmes clan. Enola Holmes is Millie Bobby Brown’s movie, through and through. She owns it completely. She is charismatic, charming, loveable, and funny.
Enola has been brought up by her eccentric and “wild” mother. She’s well-educated, curious, and brilliant. On her sixteenth birthday, her mother disappears leaving Enola to the care of her brothers – Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes. Enola doesn’t fit into Mycroft’s definition of a “young lady” and hence he plans to send her away to a boarding school that will teach her how to become a young lady who is presentable in society and who will have marriage prospects. Enola obviously isn’t going to just let this happen. She runs away from home to search for her mother. On the way, she meets Lord Tewksbury and a friendship is forged. The adventures of Enola Holmes begins here.
Harry Bardbeer brings the fourth-wall breaking technique he had perfected in Fleabag to Enola Holmes as well. It’s a fun addition, drawing a nice connection to the coming-of-age movie that had made the technique so popular, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. There have been very many iterations of Sherlock Holmes in the history of cinema but Henry Cavill’s Sherlock may just be the first Sherlock who is so kind, nice, and patient. Mycroft is as cruel as Sherlock is kind. Helena Bonham Carter’s Eudoria is excellent as the strong-willed mother of the Holmes children. Louis Partridge is adorable as Lord Tewksbury.
Towards the end of the movie, there is a scene where Sherlock walks out of Inspector Lestrade’s room. A smirk grows on his face and he exclaims “Ha!” If I had to describe this movie in one expression, this is probably the one I’d use. Without giving much away, I would say that Enola Holmes is delightful and great fun to watch. It’s one of the better Netflix offerings for young-adults that isn’t as one-note as the Kissing Booth. As much as this movie will be greatly enjoyed by young-adults, I think this movie will be equally enjoyable to the older lot as well. It is a movie for fans of the detective genre. It is a movie for people who like watching fun movies that don’t have dire situations or endings. It is a movie for people who like watching girls and women kick-ass. It is a movie that will definitely entertain you.
Enola Holmes isn’t a very serious movie. It is not raising big questions, nor is it challenging entire systems. But it does shake the tree a little bit. Set during the late 19th century with the Women’s suffrage movement as its background, Enola Holmes is set in a world in which being a girl or a woman was difficult, to say the least. The movie makes some pointed remarks about the state of English society then, and the apolitical attitude of privileged men like Sherlock Holmes that seems very relevant to the present as well. So when Eudoria works towards changing things, not just for Enola, but for other girls and women as well, the movie does make a positive statement. It is not an individual victory of Eudoria’s or Enola’s that is left at that. It is an individual victory that is paving way for others as well.
This movie shows a world where a mother provides her child with everything that she needs to make sure that she has the strength, knowledge, and courage to take on the world and change it for the better. The pacing of the movie seems slightly off but overall, who wouldn’t want to see a sixteen year old girl use jujutsu to take-down a fully grown man.