by Anoushka Roshan (24)| November 16, 2020
Art by Allyson Wang (’23)
Last month, Netflix released the much anticipated movie Enola Holmes, starring Millie Bobby Brown, who many of us know from Stranger Things, and Louis Partridge, who is touted to be the “new Timothée Chalamet.” The film also stars Helena Bonham Carter, Henry Cavill, and Sam Claflin. With such a star-studded cast, I expected Enola Holmes to leave a lasting impact, but it sadly let me down.
The movie is based off of, but does not try to imitate, the classic, Sherlock Holmes, and focuses on Sherlock’s younger sister, Enola. When Enola’s mother goes missing, Enola follows clues she left behind and encounters a lot of obstacles along the way. Enola’s tangled journey makes up the plot of the film. However, the movie does run a little long at a length of two hours and three minutes; it could have been easily cut twenty minutes shorter while still maintaining a sense of interest and culminating well in a surprising climax.
Additionally, another fault of the movie is that some scenes fail to maintain a sense of reality. I find it hard to believe that the mastermind detective, Sherlock Holmes, cannot find his younger sister, an amateur sleuth, and that she somehow maintains the upper hand over him and the police department in terms of solving the case. Another example of this dissociation from reality is the secret women-run martial arts studio located on top of a tea shop despite the movie being set in the 1800s. This and many similar instances make it hard for viewers to get invested in the story. With that said, the film is intended for PG-13 viewers, so it isn’t meant to replicate the show, Sherlock, one of the most famous fictional detectives of all time.
The film also tackles the heavy subjects of women’s suffrage and equal rights. At one point, Enola is sent to a finishing school in order to be trained to behave like a proper “young lady,” which is a brilliant example of common practice at that time. Additionally, women’s suffrage is a major theme seeing as Enola’s mother is part of a secret, radical organization of suffragettes.
There is also the subplot of Viscount Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), a young lord who ran away from home. He joins Enola on her journey to look for her mother all while running from a suspicious hitman. Frankly, Tewkesbury’s plot is slightly more compelling than Enola’s, considering his plotline culminates in the more thrilling climax. Enola’s storyline seems to be hurriedly ended in the last ten minutes, which leaves something to be desired from her role.
While the movie had a variety of interesting moments with solid character performances, Enola Holmes is a good one-time watch but doesn’t leave much of an impact because of the long run-time and the inclusion of the unrealistic scenes.