Written by: Jack Thorne
Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin, Henry Cavill, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge
Carrying a great surname comes with its expectations and responsibilities, especially in a time where it defined much of one’s success. Many people may know of the great Sherlock Holmes, but Enola Holmes would like to take the opportunity to introduce the world to the witty little sister, who carries the same name and smarts. Receiving her own film proves the character and actor did much of the heavy lifting with an average story.
With her mother going mysteriously missing, Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) seeks to follow the clues left behind to find her. She faces the obstacles of her brothers coming to visit and objecting to her behavior, specifically the older one, Mycroft (Sam Claflin). With her brothers trying to bring her back and getting involved in another mystery, Enola must use all of her mother’s training to survive and find her.
As a feature, Enola Holmes carries the tradition of the name bestowed on this young woman, as she lives by the adventurous teachings of her mother in a society looking to put her in a box of a respectable woman. Luckily, she cares not for what others expect of her, which adds the most enjoyable components of this film. Starring in the titular role is Millie Bobby Brown, who has reached star status from her role in the breakout success, Stranger Things. She stays within the Netflix family with this feature and displays her immense charm, as it allows us to overlook the more plodding aspects of this movie, which is plenty.
Having a considerable age gap between her and her brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft, their first meeting in the film spells out how they have shared very little interaction in her young life. Sherlock expresses a puzzled look while Mycroft has nothing but contempt for the beastly appearance of his younger sister and immediately wants to put her through proper training to be a suitable woman. This obviously does not satisfy Enola as she was raised differently by her strong mother, but remains Mycroft’s ward with the matriarch missing. With their battles, Sherlock just walks around the estate trying to find the proper clues to find their mother. Sherlock’s reputation makes more of an impact than the character himself and rightfully so because this film belongs solely to the titular character.
Using fourth wall breaks to converse with the audience in clever ways, Enola makes herself an endearing character very quickly for the audience as Millie Bobby Brown’s charisma jumps right off the screen. Through this dialogue she has that no other characters notice, she points out the absurdities of the culture and gross double standards of what she’s allowed to do as a young woman as compared to a man. She has an uphill battle in trying to find her mother and fight off the misogyny following her throughout this story, which she has no issues pointing out. Each time Enola looked into the camera and made a comment, Bobby Brown nailed the comedy sought to further align us with her journey.
Even with the extreme levels of charm this character brought, she, unfortunately, found herself in a fairly uninteresting side plot in the journey to find her mother. This occurs when she runs into a young lad, Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), and how he needs to escape the clutches of a man sent to kill him. This storyline takes away from Enola’s initial journey to seek her mother, which makes sense seeing as her brother Sherlock takes cases to help random people. However, the film faltered when it made the missing mother story much more interesting than the one involving Tewkesbury. The revelations made with what sectors the mother may have been involved in lead down some dangerous paths instead of trying to protect this fairly annoying twerp. It made the moments where the focus came back to Tewkesbury a true let down as a result.
Even with its faults, Enola Holmes proves to have enough charm to continue the potential franchise it wants to set up with the character with Sherlock tagging along for the ride. Millie Bobby Brown certainly steps up to the plate and proves she can fully lead a film on her own with complete style. With enough quips to go around, this film provides plenty to enjoy and different sequences detailing the fun that can be had with the character and the overall tone of the story.