I have three words to begin this review: That. Was. FUN!
As I stated in my I’m Thinking of Ending Things review, Netflix has become a place for quality original content – a rival to movie theaters. But unlike that movie, I can definitively say Enola Holmes joins my list among one of my favorite Netflix releases of the year.
Enola Holmes stars Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sam Claflin in a movie that chronicles the journey of Sherlock Holmes’ sister, Enola Holmes, on a quest to find her missing mother.
The movie begins with Enola’s mother going missing, prompting a swift decision by Mycroft Holmes, the oldest of the three Holmes siblings, to put Enola in a girl’s school to learn “manners.” Instead, she escapes and embarks on a mission to find out what happened to her mother.
This movie puts you into the journey with Brown’s Enola Holmes. She constantly breaks the fourth wall in a tasteful way that doesn’t feel overplayed. She always talks to the viewer, referencing bits and pieces of the stories and clues she stumbles upon. This is the film’s biggest positive — interactivity. We see this through the clues she solves along the way; pieces of puzzles scramble around to create answers. We see her find clues, solve riddles, and inspect tiny details. You’re on the ride with Enola the entire time and it’s nothing short of FUN.
Millie Bobby Brown plays a witty and charming Enola Holmes, one who is amusing to follow. She plays outside of the stereotype of a woman in the 1800s; she disguises herself in men’s clothing, rides bikes, knows how to fight, and much more. Brown brings great energy to this character and she doesn’t feel like Eleven. Unlike her roll in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, here she is very different from her Stranger Things counterpart.
The pacing and editing of this movie join hands in a blend that keeps you glued to your seat. We never stayed in one setting for too long, as the movie focuses on Enola constantly looking for her mother. There were also great storybook graphics where a page would flip onto the screen and an animation would draw out the scene. There were cool old movie reels that appeared as well. When Enola was solving a clue, the camera would cut to another character or instance that helped her solve it. It was very well put together and left me attentive the whole time.
While Helena Bonham Carter’s character was not with Enola, we still got to see her character. She appeared to Enola whenever she was solving a clue or remembering something she needed. It was a brilliant way to include her a lot but also a little. Henry Cavill is a stoic Sherlock whose intelligence clearly surpasses most. His Holmes reminded me of the one played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series Sherlock. He and Brown had some great scenes together. Sam Claflin’s Mycroft Holmes was a great opposite to Sherlock, sharper and more stern to serve as an obstacle for Enola. Good acting all around.
Another positive in the movie is the play on stereotypical norms for men and women. Enola was tough, and liked solving mysteries. The male character, Lord Tewksbury (I’m glad this is a movie cause I’d have no idea how to pronounce that), played by Louis Partridge, had an interest in plants and nature. It was an awesome way to break down the barriers of stereotypes for young watchers of both genders; a great way to tell young boys that they can be into things considered “feminine” and young girls that they can be into things considered “masculine.”
As you can tell, I liked this movie. But as someone who reviews movies, I must also tackle some of the bad. The movie might’ve felt a tad long and Cavill’s Sherlock felt too uninvolved at times. There were also points in the movie where I wanted some of the acting to elevate a little and it didn’t. Also, I wonder about some of the historical contexts in the movie; some things seemed a little outlandish to be happening in the late 1800s. Then again, this is a fictional story!
All in all, Enola Holmes is a fun time for those who love mysteries and enjoy a twist on a good Sherlock Holmes story. Stick around till the end, too, I did not see it coming.
Are you planning on watching Enola Holmes? Check it out when it comes to Netflix September 23rd!
Here is the video review!