Film Review: Enola Holmes

Millie Bobby Brown creates a pop culture icon, again, in a cleverly plotted Netflix adventure. 

My feelings about Enola Holmes are mixed. I do think it’s one of the better Netflix films with astonishing fourth-wall breaking action and a strong lead. I’ve been intrigued by Millie Bobby Brown’s talent to draw all screen attention to herself since her 2016 debut in Stranger Things. I also think I was led to believe this was going to be a proper mystery thriller where a Holmes solves lives puzzles while making us all feel like we had better eyes along the way. Enola Holmes however is, in true sense, a coming of age story and eye opener set in 19th century England whose teenage lead happens to be Sherlock Holmes’ little sister.

I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t think these English films are exciting. I mean, the accents, costumes and customs. Corsets and Swords. Lords and Miladies. The last time I was here was in The Favorite (2018), I think, but I’m sure this one imprints the most visible marks.

Unlike most recent period films, the focus is beyond the characters but on where the characters are, and how they interact with that environment. Whether it’s jumping off a steam train or walking through a flower market, you see London.  Effective technique, especially when the lead character constantly talks into the camera. That way, Enola Holmes is able to be intense, as well as engaging. It also helps that the frontwoman is MBB. Only few young stars can switch accents proficiently, steal the screen aura of her supporting cast mates, wear a distinct charisma, and still be a vulnerable, sweet little thing. I can only think of one: Jodie Comer. But Comer isn’t a youngstar, is she? With Holmes, MBB is reiterating that her versatility is currently unmatched.

The film is the mystery. Despite having Sherlock Holmes, and Henry Cavill, it isn’t a mouthful. It isn’t unnecessarily loud unlike Netflix 2020’s slate. What I’m saying is you can actually narrate it to someone else.

It ran for two hours but I do feel it ended a bit early. Enola’s life had just started when the film ends. Nothing is teased about her future adventures. It was a ‘that’s it?’ ending and I’m sure that leaves everyone wishing for a sequel immediately. The things I had issues with in this film, are in fact, good. But how good? How do you feel about this film? There isn’t much like it; but how do we react to new things in 2020? How do we react to smart, witty but calm films in 2020?

This is how I react: 8/10.

Okiki Adeduyite

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