Boasting a cast that includes Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown and Harry Potter’s Helena Bonham Carter, buckle up for a refreshing ride with this latest remake, based on the first book in a series of the same name by Nancy Springer, which is itself loosely inspired by the canonical Sherlock Holmes novels.
The film revolves around Sherlock and Mycroft’s younger sister Enola (portrayed by Bobby Brown) who has grown up isolated from the outside world, under the tuition of her eccentric mother Eudoria (Bonham Carter).
When her mother goes missing, Enola disguises herself as a boy (subtle Shakespeare vibes here) to escape Mycroft’s plans of sending her to a garish ‘Finishing School’, and embarks on an adventure to find Eudoria.
In terms of a single sentence summary, that hardly does Enola Holmes justice. The film is quite unique, with captivating wit and wordplay throughout, which is also crucial to the storyline. Enola and her mother are both fascinated by cryptology, and this becomes key to Enola’s particular flavour of detective work.
Another strikingly unique element of the film is dialogue from Enola that breaks the fourth wall, which makes the audience complicit in her antics. Although a little overdone, it certainly suits Bobbie Brown’s character, and what better way to capture the audience than sweep us into the narrative itself.
The plot was riveting, although the love story between Enola and her travelling companion, Viscount Tewkesbury, felt forced at best. Cue inward groans at the moment a romance between the pair was first suggested, with the typical eye contact that lasted for just a touch too long. For a film that was driven by Enola’s need for independence, this relationship is one that would have been best left in the friendzone.
Apart from a stellar cast, and a breathtaking performance from Millie Bobby Brown, the cinematography in the film is also incredible, with some stunning, sweeping shots of London and its surrounds.
Ultimately, this is a movie about friendship (with not too much romance, thankfully), feminism and self-discovery. It is best captured by this quote from Enola, which struck me as particularly significant:
“Our future is up to us”
You are your own woman… but I do strongly recommend that your future is one which includes watching Enola Holmes, streaming now on Netflix.