It’s been a while since I was truly excited for a movie release, but the moment I heard about Enola Holmes and watched the trailer, I marked the release date in red on my calendar.
BBC’s Sherlock is my favorite TV show of all time and, since discovering it, I haven’t been able to get enough of the Holmes family. Naturally, when I discovered what Enola Holmes was about and saw the star-studded cast, my expectations for this movie soared.
Thankfully, Enola Holmes mostly lived up to the hype. It was an incredibly fun movie to watch and, while it certainly had some flaws, it was a fantastic addition to the Holmes-iverse. (It’s a thing, I’m declaring it.) It had just enough similarities to tie in to the other adaptations of Doyle’s original tales while veering far enough off of Doyle’s path to be distinct.
Millie Bobby Brown was undoubtedly the standout of this movie. She makes Enola charming, engaging and someone you can’t help but root for. I know I, like many others, was a little wary when the trailer showed Enola breaking the fourth wall, but Brown executes it perfectly and truly makes the viewer feel like a part of her story.
The character I wasn’t really convinced by, however, was Sherlock himself. I did appreciate that the film’s creators seemed to show no interest in emulating the Sherlocks of adaptations past, but I still had a hard time with Henry Cavill in the role. To me, Sherlock Holmes, at his core, is frenetic and quirky. He’s famous for his emotional insensitivity and not being able to grasp social norms. Cavill’s Sherlock is exactly the opposite: composed, caring and the picture of societally respectable.
I also have mixed feelings about the romance in this movie. On one hand, I loved it. I found myself smiling every time Enola and Tewksbury were on screen together: their dynamic is adorable and they fit so well together. I couldn’t help but be a little irked, though, that this film included romance at all. Doyle’s books and the BBC show both made a strong point of not giving Sherlock a love interest, focusing instead on his genius and deductive capabilities. I do think the creators of Enola Holmes did a good job making it clear that Enola was confident, independent and far from a damsel in distress — if anything, Tewksbury was the helpless one Enola needed to save. I don’t know that the movie needed romance at all, though. Including it subtly reinforced the idea, in my opinion, that a woman can’t be interesting or “relatable” enough as a lead if she doesn’t have a romance plot. Further, Enola’s observation skills were brushed under the rug. One of my favorite parts of Sherlock was having my mind blown by Sherlock’s investigative process. I think it would’ve added another layer of interest to the plot of Enola Holmes if we’d gotten to see her perform in a similar way. Instead, her intelligence was hinted at and implied; it was never truly emphasized or brought to light meaningfully.
Overall, though, this movie was an absolute delight. It’s full of adventure, snark and a main character that truly feels deserving of the spotlight. Given there are more books in the Enola Holmes series, I can only hope we’ll be getting an on-screen sequel at some point in the future.
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