Teenage Super Sleuth
In the delightfully entertaining Enola Holmes, a courageous teenage girl in Victorian England invites us to follow her adventures as she solves two mysteries and discovers her true destiny. Played to the hilt by talented Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things, Enola talks directly to the audience, so we empathize with her right away. We become her confidantes. Plus, the splendid period costumes, cinematography, and location scenes help give the movie a “you-are-there” feel.
For full disclosure, I should mention how much I enjoy all things Sherlock Holmes – from the wonderful stories by Arthur Conan Doyle to the various films and television series focusing on this fictional detective. I even accept Lucy Liu as Watson in TV’s Elementary series.
So it’s no problem for me to believe Sherlock had a young sister. And, of course, she would be intelligent, curious, resourceful and determined, just like one of her famous brothers. And speaking of those brothers, this movie includes two splendid actors: Henry Cavill (Night Hunter) as Sherlock and Sam Claflin (Me Before You) as Mycroft. Sherlock and Mycroft haven’t seen Enola for many years, but Sherlock shows more interest in her than Mycroft does.
Other key characters are portrayed by excellent cast members. Helena Bonham Carter (Alice in Wonderland) stands out as the mysterious mother. Louis Partridge (Paddington 2) shines as young Lord Tewksbury. Susan Wokoma (Burn Burn Burn) makes a convincing self-defense instructor, and Frances la de la Tour (Hugo) turns in an intriguing performance in her small time on camera as The Dowager.
Enola Holmes, Sherlock’s young sis,
can think and fight like a brave wiz.
Trained by their mom, she knows a lot.
Yet where in the world is her spot?
Left by her mom, she must find her.
This mystery becomes a lure..
But on the way she meets a boy
who then goes missing. What a ploy!
A boarding school, Mycroft insists.
But Enola strongly resists.
Freedom she craves to be a sleuth.
She entertains us. That’s the truth.
Directed by Harry Bradbeer (TV’s Fleabag) and adapted by Jack Thorne (Wonder) from the YA novel The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer, Enola Holmes gives viewers two fascinating mysteries for Enola to solve. They both involve a big political change for England. The plot ties them together nicely, and we want Enola to succeed despite the obstacles in her way, including a dangerous man who seems to be following her everywhere no matter how many costume changes she makes to disguise her identity.
With its exciting action, colorful characters, suspenseful situations and a new hero (or is it shero now?) to cheer for, Enola Holmes should be the beginning of a fun film franchise. Something good is afoot!
(Released by Netflix and rated PG-13 by MPAA.)