A Love Letter to Enola Holmes

To quote Enola Holmes herself, “Now where to begin”; this may very well be one of the longest articles I have written, purely because I cannot say enough good things about this movie. When it was first announced that Enola Holmes would be coming to Netflix, I wasn’t as thrilled about it as you might’ve thought. Upon seeing that the plot surrounded Sherlock Holmes’ little sister, Enola, I was afraid it would be a cheesy and sorry attempt at creating a feministic spin on the classic stories of Sherlock Holmes. Not that I don’t support feminism; I absolutely do. But when traditionally male-dominated stories are remade starring women, they aren’t executed with much grace. On top of these suspicions, I also had little interest in the lead of Millie Bobby Brown. This might shock people, but I never really got into Stranger Things and had yet to see anything else with Millie in it. I have nothing personal against her, I just had very little experience with her work. That all changed within the first five minutes of watching Enola Holmes. Not only was it made with poise and grace, but the plot, action, and comedic relief were excellent. The cast’s chemistry with each other was beyond belief, and it left me craving more. I do not plan on writing much about the plot, or at least nothing that will spoil the movie, because I urge every single person to watch this movie. It’s  two hours and three minutes that you won’t regret.

The style of this movie is very unique, and one of the first things that you might notice while watching it. Enola, played by Millie Bobby Brown, is both a character in the story as well as the narrator. She will break off from a scene to fill in gaps or speak directly towards the audience throughout the film. This being one of the first noticeable features of the film, I was instantly intrigued. Another element that becomes very apparent whilst watching the movie is that the cast’s chemistry with each other, whether the relationship was good or bad, is unmatched. Sherlock Holmes is played by Henry Cavill, who you might know as Superman, and the eldest of the Holmes children, Mycroft is played by Sam Claflin, who you might recognize from series like The Hunger Games and Pirates of the Caribbean. The three actors who play the Holmes children have extremely well-executed chemistry. Mycroft and Enola are meant to have a strained relationship, which Millie Bobby Brown and Sam Claflin portrayed perfectly. Sherlock is on better terms with Enola, but not by much. They learn more about each other throughout the movie, and there are some bittersweet moments between them, or with one regarding the other sibling. Enola and Tewkesbury, her initially platonic but potentially romantic partner in crime, have undoubtedly fantastic chemistry. Tewkesbury is played by Louis Partridge, and he and Millie Bobby Brown had some of the best chemistry in the entire film. Their relationship begins as associates, moves towards friendship, and potentially reaches a romantic level towards the end. This complex and unique relationship is portrayed perfectly between these two actors, and it is clear that they were very comfortable with each other on-screen. But just because I mention that they are potentially romantic doesn’t mean that this film ended in the way that romance films typically do. In fact, the ending was surprisingly well done, despite my initial expectations.

Because this film had done such a great job throughout its entirety, I was afraid the directors would throw it all away at the conclusion. Typically, most movies or shows will try to through the potential couple together at the last minute. I was pleasantly surprised that Enola Holmes did not do that. The whole movie focused on defying gender norms for English women during the 1900s and was done very well. It was sort of a “screw you” to misogyny, but didn’t come across as aggressively so. Instead, it focused on progressive actions women took to combat sexism during the period, actions that some modern women still take today. . Along with showing women who didn’t fit the classic stereotype of the time, it also showed men through a different lens: not always as tough as expected, interested in things that might have been considered “effeminate”, and that men need to be rescued sometimes, showing that women are not always the damsel in distress. It had shown historical difficulties from both genders, as well as embraced a platonic relationship between two people who might have been portrayed as lovers in a different movie. So when it came to the ending, I was very afraid that all of this progress was going to be thrown right out the window. And while it did insinuate that something more could come from Enola and Tewkesbury’s relationship, nothing more than platonic (and sometimes awkward) interactions occurred between the pair. Another thing that I was pleasantly surprised by, was how they embraced Enola still being a child and needing help. All too often in movies about younger protagonists, we see small children dive headfirst into real-world problems, needing help, but refusing to turn to adults. A lot of Enola Holmes’ plot surrounds Enola’s need for her brothers’ help finding her mother, who’s gone missing. Since all three characters are at some point shown taking care of or showing interest in the wellbeing of Enola, it didn’t play into the absent parent plotline that many movies tend to do.

Overall, I was extremely surprised and happy with the result of this movie; it left me wanting more. Especially considering Netflix’s history of producing extremely cheesy, and frankly bad, original movie content, Enola Holmes was a pleasant and refreshing treat. It had an interesting plot, intense action sequences, and many funny lines or moments throughout. The cinematography was beautifully done, and the sets, amazing. There were twists and turns during the entire movie, and most importantly, it was inspirational to watch. I would honestly recommend this movie to anyone, it has something for everyone. If they don’t make another movie or series regarding Enola Holmes and her adventures, I will consider it an awful waste of a great opportunity. After watching it for the second time, it left me wishing it was a TV series instead, and that there was another episode that I could binge. I really don’t think I could’ve wished for anything more from this movie, it defied my expectations and left me waiting for the next installment of Enola Holmes. Please go watch this movie ASAP, I promise you won’t regret it.