Enola Holmes is a Netflix adaptation of a series of novels: The Enola Holmes Mysteries, written by Nancy Springer between 2006 and 2010. The novel series of Enola Holmes aims at young adult readers and the target demographic for the movie is the same as the books.
Directed by Harry Bradbeer, Enola Holmes is a story of the 16 year old sibling of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. The story is set in 1884 England, with political revolutions trying to bring the country towards a better and modern future.
Enola, very charmingly played by Millie Bobby Brown introduces herself to the audience, telling about herself and her mother, Eudoria Holmes; portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter. Enola knows very little of the outer world but has been taught all the skills, physical and mental, to survive on her own by her mother.
On the morning of Enola’s 16th birthday, her mother is nowhere to be found. It appears that she has left on her own, leaving Enola with just a birthday gift. Depressed and tensed, she calls for her big brothers: Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Holmes, who are played by Henry Cavill and Sam Claflin, respectively.
Mycroft, right away, wants to send Enola to a grooming school but she wants to find her mother with the help of her brothers, which they firmly refuse to do.
Enola runs away from her brothers in search of her mother and meets a boy on the way, whom she feels intrigued to help since a man is trying to murder him. She is distracted from the mission and is forced to save the boy’s life. While on the adventure, Enola and the boy find out about a huge conspiracy involving the family of the boy.
Both of the teenagers are running from Mycroft’s men as well as the man who’s trying to murder the boy throughout most of the movie.
Mycroft has been shown rather short tempered with him shouting his throat out on a few occasions and completely disregarding Enola’s feelings and concerns. Sam Claflin struggles a bit with the portrayal of the elder Holmes brother but cannot be blamed as the character itself is written in a way which is quite off and unlikeable.
Sherlock Holmes is portrayed pretty charmingly by Henry Cavill but he too does not look too much into the character. As the story moves forwards, Sherlock grows fond of his little sister and starts to care for her a bit which is playfully mocked by Enola since Sherlock Holmes, famously, hates emotions and keeps his distance from them.
Millie Bobby Brown is, as always, flawless with her role and effortlessly carries the story on her back. She, often, talks to the audience, telling them what’s in her mind. This trend of continuously breaking the fourth wall starts as a delightful part of the storytelling but soon becomes a little annoying. At one point of the movie Enola asks the audience what she should do next, which just feels a bit too childish.
Fiona Shaw as Miss Harrison performs wonderfully as the headmistress of the grooming school Enola is inevitably sent to. Also, not really a spoiler but, she has a bit of a crush on Mycroft.
The style of the storytelling and the cinematography is something to appreciate in Enola Holmes. Some of the locations the movie is shot in are stunning. Harry Bradbeer has done a good job in telling the story of this young detective just as it was intended to be told.
All in all, the movie is perfect for young adults but does not have much to offer to thriller and mystery enthusiasts. If you are a fan of the previous movies and the show based on Sherlock Holmes, you might be expecting a lot from this movie and you might be a little disappointed at the end since there is not a lot of impressive “detective work” done by the young Holmes and there aren’t any jaw dropping surprises waiting for you in the corner.
Enola Holmes sure is a delightful movie and you just might want to know where and why Eudoria Holmes disappeared.
Hop on to Netflix today to see how Enola survives in the world she knows little of and how she finds her mother.