Enola Holmes ★★★

Enola Holmes feels like it’s establishing something really great, but as it stands it’s just…good.

As a tale of feminism and coming of age (with a bit of action), this is a pretty enjoyable film, but as an adaptation of the Holmes’ universe of characters and their reputable mysteries, this story felt a little fruitless. Obviously, girl-power and feminism play major roles in Enola Holmes and the film’s message, here we see women who fight back against societal standards and gender roles, who strive for independence, rights, and, to put it simply, a choice. All of these aspects of the film are well-written enough, but there is one thing that stuck out to me, something that I felt went against its message, Enola’s male companion - Tewkesbury. Enola drops everything for the boy, the initial quest for her missing mother, and later her chance of freedom from her controlling brothers...all for some boy. Now, perhaps I’m overthinking things but this seems so counteractive from the film’s feminist voice. Tewkesbury’s character is fine, the problem is, he derailed Enola’s entire story and led us to another, one that is far less interesting and a lot more confusing. On the positives, Enola as a character is pretty cool, they’ve set her apart from Sherlock as she is a lot lighter in tone, she's witty, smart, emotional and a hellova fighter - all aspects of the character that I’m sure will be appreciated from her audience of young women, I'm thinking her future on Netflix is bright.

We have got quite the cast on our hands and I hope they stick around for potential future instalments. Millie Bobby Brown is talented, as established, she was a solid choice for the film’s titular character and delivers lines of wit and emotion with unsurprising finesse. Also starring is Henry Cavill, probably not what I’d picture when you say 'Sherlock Holmes', but an interestingly fresh take on the character, I’m sure. Alas, Helena Bonham Carter, playing the eccentric mother, an adjective that seems to follow her everywhere, but she sure plays it well.

Additionally, the filmmakers have painted a really great picture of what the era was like, with the old-timey vehicles, the storefronts, the newspapers, and the missing posters…of course let us not glamourise it all, they call out the privilege and oppression of these times as well. They also made a mockery of the fourth wall, always love it when they do, a great addition as our detective Enola updates us on her thought process, as well as what her next move will be.

Well, sorry if I rambled, Enola Holmes has a future and I sure hope they play into it and whip up some better mysteries in the future.

2020 Ranked 

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