November 3, 2020

Enola Holmes Review: There’s A New Detective In Town

Enola Holmes

I believe I mentioned the Enola Holmes movie in one of my previous Sherlock Holmes posts. That was some 6 months ago (I know it seems like ages), and I believe I mentioned my optimism regarding the then-upcoming movie. Well, Enola Holmes is finally out on Netflix and I have to write about it. Yes, I finally saw it this past weekend, and to tell you the truth I was a nice pleasant surprise on an otherwise boring weekend.

But before I dive into the intricate details of the Enola Holmes, I must also mention that we already have plenty of fantastic Sherlock Holmes video games here at IndieGala. They’re all available and waiting for you to unleash your inner detective. So, don’t wait up. Get yourself a fun Sherlock Holmes game.

Millie Bobby Brown Is Enola Holmes

In every sense of the word, I might add. Basically from the opening scene, you can clearly witness the young girl’s joy and whimsical fun whilst playing this character. And although I can find faults with the movie (it’s good but not great), I can’t really find faults with Millie’s acting here. It’s a tough, demanding role (she’s basically in almost every scene) for a 16-year-old girl, and the young lady shows incredible range. She’s insightful, playful, sarcastic, mischievous, charismatic and even physically strong which was a nice surprise. I mean she jumps, fights, runs like no one else, all while wearing heels and tight corsets. Not bad Millie. Not bad indeed. Personally, I’ve been a fan of Millie since I saw her in Stranger Things, and she’s stellar once again. Much to my own delight.

Several Stories Intertwined In Enola Holmes

Enola Holmes

But the thing is, Enola Holmes Is very much a solo movie about… You’ve guessed it, Enola Holmes. Sherlock’s much younger sister. And here the entire movie is treated as such – a solo movie. The movie’s main plot centers around Enola’s quest to find her missing mother Eudoria (played to perfection by Helena Bonham Carter) who vanishes at the start of the movie.

She leaves ciphers, clues (and some money) for her daughter, but not much else. So, Enola must use all her knowledge and training in order to find her mother. And let me just tell you how perfect Helena Bonham Carter is in this role. Perfect with a capital P, and yes, you can thank her own natural quirkiness for much of the fine performance. Not just her talent. As a fan of Miss Carter for decades now, I relish on the fact that I get to see her in eccentric and unconventional roles such as the role of Eudoria. She’s had plenty of corseted wacky lady roles, but I always want more. Thankfully she supplies my demands.

Enola Holmes

But as I mentioned, several other stories and sub-lots are intertwined in the movie as well. Stories like Eudoria’s radical suffragette’s work. Also stories like Tewkesbury’s (played by Louis Partridge) family troubles. And let’s not forget the real-life Reform Bill from Victorian England, that is also into the plot and circles around the movie from time to time.

Sherlock Holmes Is In The Back Seat

Don’t get me wrong. I love Henry Cavil. True, he’s fairly decent here, although with the massive size of his body it’s hard to imagine him in the role of a geeky Sherlock. And he even does a bit of investigative work himself, which is nice too. But as I mentioned earlier, this is Enola’s show and Sherlock gets a bit of demotion to the back seat. Indeed he and Sam Claflin are doing their best, but the shorter screen-time is taking a toll on their performances. They’re prim, proper and muted in their performances no doubt about it. As opposed to the more energetic Enola character, but I loved their interpretations of Sherlock and Mycroft as well. One is arrogant and pompous while the other is well… Sherlock.

However, because this is a movie that’s centered on Enola, Sherlock, Mycroft and so many others (dare I say supporting characters) are not given enough proper time and introduction. There’s an introduction to them that’s true, but their stories are not developed to my liking. And that happens more than you think. You get the feeling that they pop in form time to time into the story, and they don’t contribute all that much. For instance I would have loved to see more of Fiona Shaw here, and the marvelous Susie Wokoma’s Edith character…. but oh well… Perhaps in the sequel. Yes this is solely an Enola story, but I expected a lot from the other characters as well. But, I should count my blessings then. At least they are there even for a brief period of time.

Enola Holmes

Eclectic storytelling in Enola Holmes

And by storytelling, I mean visual storytelling. Keeping up with the youthful and energetic pacing, and the young lading actress, the visual presentation is very eclectic as well. You have everything in Enola Holmes. From narration thought breaking the fourth wall, to fast-paced editing. From inserting flashback scenes to inserting the smart world play on the screen. Think of the, the smartphone typing scenes from BBC’s Sherlock, but with good old scrabble tiles.

Not to mention, the occasional collage of old timely photography when presenting certain characters of places. Hey, it was Victorian England after all. Which is a nice touch from the hand of Harry Bradbeer, since he did most of these visual cues in Fleabag as well. But on the subject of improvements, I wish there was more explanation in the sub-plots I just mentioned. If you have a female character in the lead, then maybe explain a bit more about the struggles of the suffragettes. What did they stand for? Moreover, who were they? What did their fight consist of in the era?

Millie

Enjoyable Yet Flawed Movie

All in all, Enola Holmes is a fairly enjoyable yet flawed movie. Bravely moves away from the usual character that we all know and love, without being condescending and preachy. A mistake that so many modern movies do make when trying for a female centered movie. It may seem like a forced gender-swapped story (think female Ghostbusters) but I don’t think it is.

At least it doesn’t presents itself in that manner. It’s filled with great performances, and it has fantastic pacing. Not to mention some thought-provoking topics to ponder about. But if you’re going to watch it just for the presence of Millie Bobby Brown, then you won’t be disappointed. Millie excels as Enola Holmes, and you’ll find yourself admiring on her ability to carry this movie on her shoulders. At such a young age, I might add. But flawed or not, it’s worth indulging in. Enola Holmes is truly a fun movie to see.

Your Thoughts Please!

Have you seen it already? If you have, please tell us what you thought of it. Did you like it as much as I did? Or perhaps it’s a hard pass of a movie for you? Tell us in the comment section below. We’d love to know.

2 thoughts on “Enola Holmes Review: There’s A New Detective In Town

  1. Yes! Absolutely loved this movie. I forgive it for not focusing on the other characters as much, as it’s introducing us mainly to Enola. Hopefully we’ll get many more movies (Or maybe a series?) for them to build upon this version of the Holmes’ universe.

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