The film “Enola Holmes” was released on Netflix on Sept. 23. It is based on the book “The Case of the Missing Marquis: An Enola Holmes Mystery” by Nancy Springer and directed by Harry Bradbeer. The film follows the titular character, Enola (Millie Bobby Brown), the younger sister of Detective Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft Holmes (Sam Claflin).
The movie starts off right in the middle of Enola’s main conflict: her mother, Eudoria Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter), has suddenly disappeared. After returning home to assess the situation, Mycroft decides to send Enola to a boarding school while Sherlock searches for the missing woman. However, when Enola discovers a trail of clues left behind by her mother, she decides to find Eudoria Holmes herself.
On the way to London, Enola encounters the runaway Viscount Tewksbury (Louis Partridge). Though she initially wants nothing to do with him, she becomes entangled with his escape when she rescues him from an attempted murder. Using the skills her mother taught her, Enola works to solve the mystery behind the assassination attempts on Tewksbury while also trying to find out why her mother left home.
“Enola Holmes” is about creating one’s identity and discovering how they can contribute to the world in their own ways. Much of the film features Enola living independently for the first time. She actively works to further her investigations, often taking creative approaches to gain information. With each person she meets, she leaves a lasting impression that usually encourages her to continue being who she is. The only time her character’s liveliness drops is when Mycroft finds her and forces her to go to the boarding school. The restraint within the institution stifles the life and color that once surrounded Enola, and it remains that way until she escapes. This shows how Enola being free to act as herself reveals her best self.
Right from the start, Enola establishes herself as an interesting character. She serves as a narrator who constantly breaks the fourth wall by making eye contact with the camera and addressing the audience directly as she thinks aloud. It adds a lighthearted tone while also making Enola more endearing to the audience.
The film does well to show scattered flashbacks of Enola’s past to depict how her mother’s lessons aid and encourage Enola in her adventure. The focus is on how she fares on her own and puts her skills to use in a real case. Sherlock Holmes serves as extra encouragement from the background, which prevents his fame from overshadowing Enola and allows her to shine as an individual.
Overall, “Enola Holmes” is a fun, exciting film with a lighthearted tone. It is well shot, includes great music, and keeps the viewer engaged. With a few loose ends by the time the end credits roll, the story also leaves room for a potential sequel in the future.