Netflix film follows new detective

Netflix film follows new detective

Enola Holmes is a film adaptation of Nancy Springer’s “Enola Holmes” book series, and a major hit on Netflix, which has managed to bring yet another enjoyable, high quality film to audiences at home. This is a movie that could have carried its own weight in a theatrical release, and favorable reviews from all have verified how fun it is to watch. We all know who Sherlock Holmes is, and much of the contemporary audience is well aware of his exploits through the various film and television adaptations — all of which have been extremely well made. But in this story we are introduced to his sister, Enola Holmes, who matches his wit at times and forges her own character in the Sherlock Holmes mythos. 

We are pulled into a world that feels instantly accessible. The director Harry Bradbeer’s style allows for the audience to get invested — Enola breaks the fourth wall to deliver monologues and reactions throughout the movie which are delivered with wonderful charisma by Millie Bobby Brown. From the very beginning, our journey is a wild ride where nothing is for sure — except if you’ve read the book. Enola’s enigmatic mother, played by Helena Bonham Carter, disappears and leaving Enola in the care of her two brothers Sherlock and Mycroft. If you were concerned that Millie Bobbie Brown would be overshadowed by her brothers or by other characters every now and then, you have nothing to be worried about. The script, written by Jack Thorne, allows for Enola to shine even among the famed Sherlock Holmes and his brother Mycroft. Everything rests on Enola, and she is definitely up to the task.

The performances from this star-studded cast are exceptional. You can only get acting like this through meticulous casting; the choices for each role shine through. Sam Claflin plays a comical and crafty Mycroft who is perhaps the most faithful adaptation of the original character. Carter is incredible as usual. Henry Cavill is a slightly lackluster Sherlock Holmes. Though the focus should rightfully be on Enola through the duration of the movie, I believe that Cavill could have benefitted from a little bit more of Sherlock action. He lacks the requisite eccentricity needed to play Sherlock Holmes — but luckily, this quirkiness is found in Enola instead. Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge) is another bright spot in this film. His chemistry with Brown is a joy and helps their relationship along in the story. The way he plays the character, especially, helps emphasize his similarities with Enola.

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Brown is accompanied by a star-studded cast that includes Henry Cavil and Helena Bonam-Carter (Photo courtesy of

The background of the movie is fantastic. Cinematographer Giles Nuttgens does an outstanding job of capturing London in a period of radical change and contrasting the city and the country. If you’re looking for the aesthetic of a warm English countryside — this movie occupies that scene and allows for plenty of action in the bustling, stuffy city of London. If you look closely, the background is full of much more than the sets and side characters. The script does an excellent job of tying together several storylines to a pleasing finish — which I won’t spoil for you. But the different focuses of the story — all set up at the beginning — are all legitimate in their own right. There’s a crucial vote for women’s suffrage in London, the sudden disappearance of Enola’s mother and the case of the missing Lord Tewksbury. These are all elements of a grand mystery, perfect for this new detective to solve.

Even though I couldn’t identify or relate to the protagonist in her struggle against those who would wish to oppress her, I felt the relationship that she has with her mother in this film. The filmmakers do a great job of tugging at your heartstrings at the beginning and end, and with the tough decision that her mother had to make in this story. It’s a puzzling and mysterious thing for a mother who is so close with her child to leave her — they practiced archery, painted and did practically everything together. But sometimes the hardest and strangest choices are the ones that are the best for the person, even if it doesn’t seem like it instantly. For a single mother who is raising her daughter in a culture that demands that they marry — the choice to force Enola to find herself and her independence was the one that was best.

Enola Holmes is a film that is uplifting for the young women of today who are looking to become more than history has allowed. And simultaneously, it’s a joy to watch for pretty much everyone else. I’m not so sure this ride warrants a sequel or its own movie universe — which is what some have been advocating for — but it does make me hopeful for the future of Netflix and other streaming services that are now looking to create movies which are more than cash grabs.

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