Film Review: Enola Holmes ★★★★☆

5 mins read

Murder Plots, bombings and intrigue, what else could be expected from a feminist take on Victorian London?

After the disappearance of her mother, Enola throws herself into the mystery as a way to find her own path in life, while her brothers aim is to push her towards the path of tradition. This is causation of much of the movie’s tensions.

The film aims to tip the scales of what you are used to seeing when it comes to the Holmes family. This is not a simple mystery with a predominantly male cast, where women are treated as merely housekeepers or assistants with no personality. There is no Watson, no following Sherlock around the streets of London solving mystery after mystery. This story focuses on the Holmes family, delving into the ideals that the siblings hold and how this affects their relationship with one another.

It really asks the question, do people really need more reasons to love to hate Mycroft Holmes? No matter whether or not you enjoy movies based around feminism and how women have fought for the right to have their own freedoms, this movie is wholesome, emotional and quite hilarious in parts. It is definitely worth adding to your watchlist.

The plot’s context comes from fourth wall breaks – do not despair – they fit alongside the main story brilliantly. The breaks do not remove the viewer from the story and as they tend to be followed by flashback scenes, it works quite well as a way to drive the plot forward without adding extreme length to the film.

Henry Cavill, Sam Clafin and Millie Bobby Brown in Enola Holmes. Credit: Radio Times

Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown dusts of her British accent in order to bring the character of the Holmes sister alive. Her performance throughout the film conveys the strength of the young girl and the internal turmoil she is experiencing after being thrown into the world by herself for the first time.

Brown is joined in the film by Henry Cavill (Sherlock Holmes), Sam Clafin (Mycroft Holmes) and Helena Bonham Carter (Eudoria Holmes). This star-studded cast is able to breathe new life into another Holmes story, making it stand out from the others which have come before. Clafin is able to mould a character that most people have grown to love (from his portrayal in the BBC Sherlock) and return him to all his original glory as a traditional Victorian politician. It may be taking it back to the original, but it is a refreshing take on a character who has been changed so much throughout his media portrayal.

On the same wavelength, Cavill plays Sherlock Holmes in a more traditional manner as well. The usually aloof and alone character stays strong to his original writings and continues to be the character that everyone knows and loves. I do not believe anyone will have any complaints there. And, well, Helena Bonham Carter is just Helena Bonham Carter – exactly what you would expect, and you will love her for it.

For the rest of the cast, as this is mainly a spoiler-free review and a feminist movie, I will speak generally about the female characters. Each woman that you meet is shrouded in their own secrets and mysteries, almost demanding of a side series or movie on their antics. This film has so many one-off lines that simply deserve more time. I would love to know what Edith was going to do with the teapot.

So, if you don’t know what to watch, if you fancy a laugh, nothing all that serious, I recommend that you log on to Netflix and give Enola Holmes a go. It may not be a movie that you keep coming back to but it is definitely worth a watch!

Feature image credit: Netflix

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