Enola Holmes ★★½

"When looking to travel incognito, it's safest to travel as a widow. People are always anxious to avoid conversation about death. Widows scare them. And there's no better disguise than fear."

As much as I love everything related to Sherlock Holmes - from the immersive stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle, over the classic adaptations of the 1940s with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, up to the masterful series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman - I have to admit that I struggled to really get into this spin-off surrounding Enola Holmes.

It's a coming-of-age mystery at its heart, with an eccentric and relatable performance by Millie Bobby Brown in the center. In quite obvious ways, this was written for teenage girls, and for that reason alone, I really love the fact that this film exists in the first place, even if my personal reaction wasn't quite as favorable. I found the wallbreaking narration to be too distracting (this approach never really worked for me outside Fleabag and the first few seasons of House of Cards), and Henry Cavill was shockingly unconvincing. This film wasn't meant to be about Sherlock, so I'll forgive this film for its depiction of the Sherlock character, but Cavill was perhaps the least convincing version of Sherlock I have seen so far.

Enola Holmes is about the female experience in 19th century England more than anything else, and it's quite well done in that regard. However, it's just not really what I wanted from the film, and that might not even be the film's fault itself. I'll definitely find more enjoyment watching the last two episodes of The Queen's Gambit, which I'm going to do right now.

2020 Ranked

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