REVIEW: Enola Holmes – The Game is Afoot!

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Netflix has been hitting it out of the park lately, and Enola Holmes is no exception. Enola Holmes is the lead character in a series of mystery novels by Nancy Springer. In case the last name didn’t give it away, Enola is the 14-year-old sister (16-years-old for movie purposes) of the infamous Sherlock Holmes and is twice as clever. 

The film is an origin story of what is sure to become a series of movies. The film tells the story of the young girl deciphering clues in order to find her missing mother (Helena Bonham Carter). Set in a time where women are seen and not heard, once her mother goes missing, Enola continues to go against the patriarchy of the time but learn to use these female expectations to her advantage. 

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ENOLA HOLMES (L to R) MILLIE BOBBY BROWN as ENOLA HOLMES, LOUIS PARTRIDGE as TEWKSBURY. Cr. ALEX BAILEY/LEGENDARY ©2020

The Basics Of Enola Holmes

Along her adventure to find her mother, Enola meets another teen runaway, Viscount of Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilweather – Basil…. Get it? Played by newcomer, Louis Partridge, who is running away from his aristocratic family and a deadly assassin. 

Enola is played by Millie Bobby Brown (Strangers Things), and wow is she fantastic! There is a lot going on in this film, and the majority of it lands on Enola’s shoulders. Millie is incredibly charming, witty, strong, and shows more range than she’s ever had the chance to as Eleven in Stranger Things. Being that Millie is also 16 herself, she brings a youthful exuberance you just can’t get from a 21-year-old playing younger. 

Enola Is A Fantastic Role-Model

Enola is a great, new role model for young kids to look up to. She’s strong, smart, independent, and defies all social expectations. I love that Enola’s mother taught her fencing, self-defense, reading, writing, word puzzles, Chess, Chemistry, the list goes on and on and on. 

Watching Enola navigate the real world while figuring out the puzzles, writing a ciphered message to her mother in the paper, and outsmarting her brother Sherlock on multiple occasions are some of the highlights of this film. I was honestly surprised by how much action is in this film. Enola is jumping off moving trains, kicking ass multiples times, sometimes even in a corset. 

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Henry Cavill As Holmes Gives Enola Her Time To Shine

Something I particularly enjoyed but may come as a surprise to others, this is 100% Enolas story. Yes, Sherlock is played by powerhouse Henry Cavil, however, he’s barely in the film. The movie does not become about Sherlock or even allow Sherlock to help Enola figure out their mothers’ whereabouts or who is trying to have Basilweather killed. Enola gets to solve the mystery all on her own while impressing big brother. That said, the moments they are together are magic. I hope for more tag team, brother/sister mystery-solving in future films. 

Enola Holmes isn’t a perfect movie by any means and does have a few slog through moments. I think that comes from the pacing caused by the longer runtime. It comes in at just over 2 hours. As well as having way too many interesting characters and stories to tell in an origin story.  However, this film is set up for and did make me excited for any sequels that will be coming our way in the future. 

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