Image Courtesy of Vulture
I was flicking through Netflix on the first freezing cold day of Autumn, tired of watching reruns of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, when I stumbled across “Enola Holmes”. Not knowing anything about it, I took the risk and clicked play.
The film was an easy watch, following Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister, Enola (Millie Bobby-Brown). Throughout the film, Enola proves herself to be as witty, clever, and strong as her older brother, with skills ranging from anagram solving to combat. The plot is detailed but not too complex, with a few twists here and there, managing to throw the audience off guard but never completely shocking anyone. At points it felt too family friendly for my age, but a film I definitely would have loved as a child.
Enola Holmes is very much portrayed as a badass. She disarms a man twice her size in combat, all while wearing a floor length dress that is bound to be a hindrance. She refuses to conform to the traditional expectations of women, which had me cheering her on as she fought for her freedom throughout the film.
Millie Bobby-Brown plays a solid Enola, tough but not inhumane. She can take on a murderous hitman, but she still needs her mother. However, Bobby-Brown’s constant fourth-wall-breaks, exclaiming directly to the camera, “Hi, I’m Enola Holmes!” got old fast. We get it. Henry Cavil’s interpretation of an intense Sherlock was closer to Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal than Benedict Cumberbatch’s modern version. The latter is, in my head, the definition of Sherlock Holmes, and throughout, it proved to be a hard performance to live up to. Sam Claflin as Mycroft was superb, being arrogant, ignorant but still cunning, with the constant sneer on his face exactly as I imagine Mycroft to be best played.
The film did feel very Sherlock-y, from the 1900-appropriate fashion and beautifully sculpted buildings, to the expensive looking horse and carriages. The score was very reminiscent of previous Sherlock films too, constantly reminding the audience that they were in the universe of the great detective.
However, the action scenes lasted longer than they should have, and the constant recurring flashbacks of Enola’s mother (Helena Bomana-Carter) felt less integral to the plot and more about showing that, ‘Hey! We have Helena Bonham-Carter as part of the cast, isn’t that cool!”
Overall, the film is a bit of family friendly fun. Something to watch to whirl the hours away on a windy afternoon, and to take a break from some of Netflix’s more serious content. I’d say give “Enola Holmes” a go, but don’t expect the moon because you won’t even get the stars if you aim too high.
“Enola Holmes” is available to stream on Netflix.