Millie Bobby Brown is a Charismatic Lead in the Delightful and Fun ‘Enola Holmes’ – Review
We have had our fair share of Sherlock Holmes adaptations, each dissecting the enigmatic and complex high-functioning sociopath keen on solving dastardly crimes and mysteries. However, author Nancy Springer brings us another Holmes with a keen mind who is ready to take the spotlight, Enola Holmes.
Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) is the subject of a young adult series of detective books. In the film adaptation, she begins her journey with the disappearance of her mother. Her brothers, Mycroft (Sam Claflin) and Sherlock (Henry Cavill), decide to send her to finishing school (well, it’s Mycroft’s idea and Sherlock abstains from interfering). However, Enola, taking after her mother’s and Sherlock’s wits and curious minds, goes on a journey to find her mother with the aid of some clues left behind by her. Thus, an adventure both delightful and exciting unfolds.
Millie Bobby Brown has certainly made a name for herself thanks to Netflix’s Stranger Things catapulting her to superstardom. Although she has already proven to be a considerable talent, Enola Holmes is a fine example of her capabilities as a leading lady. She shines effortlessly, capturing the spunky and inquisitive nature of her character. She is very much a mini Sherlock – but with a personality. She is a determined, bold young woman buoyed by a free mind gifted to her by her mother.
The movie itself moves at a brisk pace but is never too quick to pass by a number of great character defining moments, which showcase Enola’s great qualities as a protagonist, and Bobby Brown’s talents as an actress. It is an overall effective period drama and missing persons mystery with the clues and conclusions never too difficult to understand or predict. In addition, it is also a compelling coming-of-age story about a young woman fighting against the limitations of an overtly conservative pre-voting reform England. The script is packed with wholesome content about family, finding your place in the world, fighting for what is right and your independence, and it is all written with a good amount of humour too.
Bobby Brown is also surrounded by talented individuals who make this picture come together seamlessly. From the ensemble cast starting with the crafted-by-the-gods Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes (who *gasp* has a heart, smiles, and expresses emotion), Sam Claflin as the uppity high-key misogynist Mycroft, Helena Bonham Carter as Enola’s forward-thinking feminist mother Eudoria and Louis Partridge as the young lord who may steal Enola’s heart. Other cast members include Adeel Akhtar as Lestrade and Susie Wokoma as Edith, and Burn Gorman as a shadowy figure who Enola stumbles upon. Each are all great in their respective roles, but are merely there to flesh out this world or to provide context. This film narrowly focuses on Enola and her journey.
The movie also has a great creative team from screenwriter Jack Thorne who writes a rather balanced story that includes mystery, family drama, women’s rights movements, a small romantic subplot, and attempted murders. Harry Bradbeer provides all the staples needed for a period drama, but incorporates fun fourth-wall breaking and modern filmmaking tactics to liven up the story. Finally, Daniel Pemberton who is undoubtedly one the best composers working today, crafted a score of true genius and perfection.
Enola Holmes is a very well-made, well-paced and beautifully crafted family feature that has something for everyone to enjoy. Even an incredibly attractive Cavill (who may be too attractive to play Sherlock Holmes) but my god – no complaint shall prosper. We accept this gracious gift with open arms. Anyway, let’s just say everyone who watches will have something to enjoy. Although it should be noted there are a few instances of violence that come as a shock and are rather jarring pieces to what is otherwise a wholesome delightful piece.
Enola Holmes is a near-perfect film and does more than enough to stand as a standalone adaptation. However, if viewing numbers prove to be as impressive as the generally positive critical consensus then perhaps Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures and Netflix should definitely consider making this a franchise. There are six books in the series.