“Enola Holmes” is a magnificent film, providing Netflix-watchers with powerful yet emotional acting, stunning directing and a story that will make anyone want to demolish the patriarchy. The titular character is played by Millie Bobby Brown, her brother Sherlock Holmes by Henry Cavill, her other brother Mycroft Holmes by Sam Calflin and introduces Louis Partridge as Lord Tewkesbury. Other famous faces are Helena Bonham Carter, Frances de la Tour, Fiona Shaw and Susie Wokoma.
The plot of “Enola Holmes” begins with Enola waking up on her 16th birthday to her mother’s disappearance. Set out to find her, but to also avoid being found by her brothers, her story gets entangled with that of the runaway Lord Tewkesbury (whose name, I swear, I couldn’t catch the entire two hours, so I just called him Lord). In a time of reform, politics and change, Enola realizes that “our future is up to us,” as her mother told her so many times.
To begin with, the film was visually incredible. A majority of it is spent breaking the fourth wall, which Brown did effortlessly and charismatically, making the viewer feel as if they were on the adventure with her. At one point, she asks the audience “do you have any ideas?”, which really made me take a moment to think of what she could do to escape her predicament.
The color scheme and cinematography are also so special, introducing you to the serene calm of the countryside or the hustle and bustle of industrial London. The cuts of directing happen frequently, but it is never overplayed. Countless scenes jump back and forth between the past and the present, but are done so in a tasteful way, such as relaying a story someone told in the past to how it led to the present. Honestly, there were moments where I thought “Enola Holmes” was directed by the same director who did the Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. It was that cinematic! Not to mention the beauty of the dreamlike score, which I highly suggest listening to on Spotify as background music.
My favorite part of the film, though, was the spectacularly written characters and the actors that brought the chilling dialogue to life. I had never seen Millie Bobby Brown act before, so I was blown away by all of the emotion and passion that she brought to Enola. Every moment of happiness, pride, calmness or sadness is so elegantly and professionally portrayed that at some points, I forgot she was acting. Brown embodies all that Enola is. Meanwhile, I am absolutely in love with Cavill’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. While he doesn’t play the character as openly pompous and show-off as many have done before him, such as Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch, Cavill does a wonderful job of mixing the intelligence of Sherlock with a light-hearted, almost comforting side that makes him a little more relatable. While it isn’t really in Sherlock’s character to be socially relatable, I personally feel like Cavill does a good job of giving us just enough to like Sherlock as a character. One of his quotes that has still stuck with me is from a scene where Enola is getting emotional over the disappearance of her mother, unable to focus on how to find her, and Sherlock says “you are being emotional. It is understandable, but unnecessary,” perfectly wrapping up Cavill’s portrayal.
Sam Claflin, though, does a perfect job at making every viewer despise Mycroft. He is sexist, rude and downright awful, attempting to control everything around him. He tries so hard to ruin every one of Enola’s plans, yet she perseveres. In the sibling trio, it is a joy to watch Sherlock and Enola play off of one another with Mycroft being the odd man out. Of course, we cannot forget about Lord Tewkesbury. Louis Partridge is new to the acting world, and I was shocked to hear that he has never had formal acting training, making his role even more impressive. He brings such a fun energy to the character, a soft boy who is simply here to press flowers and learn about mushrooms. Everything about Partridge’s sweet character made me want to cry, especially the scene where, with no food around and on the run, Lord Tewkesbury tells Enola to start a fire for he can make them a feast with the mushrooms and various greens he simply found on their journey through the countryside. Everyone needs someone like Lord Tewkesbury in their life.
There is almost nothing about this movie that I do not love. I nearly cried half a dozen times from how serious the plot became, from how hard the dialogue hit home or from how perfect the acting was. One thing, though, is the pacing of the plot. With only five minutes left of the film, I couldn’t understand how they would pull together their main plot while also conducting an ending. They tried, but I still felt like there were many questions to ask, making me hope that a sequel is on the way. With the way that Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill play off of one another as well as intricate side plots weaving their way around the story, I feel like there is so much potential for an “Enola Holmes 2,” as well as a fanbase. You can bet that I’ll be there so prepared for Enola to take on one more mystery.
“Enola Holmes” is streaming on Netflix, and it is certainly one movie you don’t want to miss before the year comes to a close.