Most people associate the name “Holmes” with Sherlock, but after watching Netflix’s “Enola Holmes,” that just might change.
Starring Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”) in the titular role, “Enola Holmes” has quickly worked its way up Netflix’s top films since its release on Sept. 23.
Enola, whose name backwards spells “alone,” is truly all alone when her mother, Eudoria Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter, “Les Miserables”), goes missing. Her brothers handle their mother’s disappearance in their own ways, with Mycroft (Sam Claflin, “Me Before You”) choosing to take the time to turn Enola into a proper young lady and Sherlock (Henry Cavill, “Man of Steel”) utilizing his famed observational skills to locate Eudoria. Enola, on the other hand, chooses her own path. She runs away in search of her mother, going incognito in boys’ clothes. On her adventure, she meets a boy, Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge, “Paddington 2”), and gets wrapped up in his mysterious story as well.
The story itself gets to be a little complicated and confusing, because Enola at first follows her mother’s trail — which grows suspiciously more complicated and dangerous — and then ends up veering slightly to work on Tewkesbury’s mystery as well. Similarly, the shifts between the present storyline and flashbacks can be difficult to follow, but the movie’s flaws all but fade away when Enola is at center stage, giving the audience a rundown of all the thoughts racing through her head.
Enola is a charming combination of fearless detective and young lady. Her wit and sass are endearing, and her strength is inspiring, especially considering the time in which she lives. Millie Bobby Brown embodies the spunky character flawlessly, breaking the fourth wall with perfectly timed winks and quips that are sure to amuse the audience.
On top of that, Enola’s relationship with Sherlock is incredibly fun to watch. Their verbal sparring is entertaining because they understand each other in a way that no one else really does. Not to mention, they bond over a shared proclivity for mystery-solving. Truthfully, this might just be the best role of Cavill’s career. He slips into Sherlock’s character like it’s always been his and still manages to change the audience’s perception of the character by switching up some of his typical traits. He has big shoes to fill, but by choosing to focus on Sherlock’s character through his relationship with Enola, he makes the character his own.
The movie succeeds in maintaining a seamless dichotomy of sweet and serious. Scenes shift from the growing romance between Enola and Tewkesbury to Enola fighting a criminal in a full-length dress. The film keeps you on your toes. You may not expect that from this kind of a movie, as it’s certainly geared towards a younger audience and is on the predictable side, but there are times when the audience is sure to gasp out loud and genuinely wonder how the movie will end.
Overall, “Enola Holmes” may seem like just another movie that wants to make a young girl a strong, feminist female character, but Enola is different. Her characteristics aren’t forced because she starts out strong and never really changes. Her perspectives on the world, on her family and on Tewkesbury all change, but she remains a constant, intelligent on-screen presence. Part of what makes her so amazing is that she doesn’t try to fit the role that is forced upon her: she’s more than happy to exist the way that she is.
“Enola Holmes” is pure fun and is sure to entertain any and all audiences. It’s the kind of movie that makes you want to get a cozy blanket and some popcorn and fall into the bright and colorful world of 19th century England.
The end of the movie will certainly leave you wanting more of Enola’s one-of-a-kind character and incredible story, and while no news of a sequel has been confirmed, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Ms. Holmes.