Netflix’s Enola Holmes is based on a series of young adult novels by Nancy Springer, the film introduces us to Enola, the kid sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. Much younger than her brothers, Enola was raised in an isolated childhood by her mother, Eudoria . At least until her sudden disappearance, which prompts her brothers to return home in order to send Enola to finishing school, where she can learn to be a proper lady.
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Enola Holmes: An unlikely political heroine of the ‘streaming times’
Enola pokes at the society’s long-held beliefs of gender and sex and our role in the modern world as men and women. Despite being set in the 1800s, Enola Holmes has a modern feel to it, a spunk that is realised by Brown’s central performance and the constant fourth-wall breaking, which I see as a hat-tip to director Harry Bradbeer’s earlier work, the wildly successful Fleabag. What is novel about Enola Holmes is the way it delivers commentary on sexism. It is never preachy or pretentious, or even dull. Like Enola herself, the movie’s doesn’t take itself too seriously. And that is because it knows its audience. They don’t want to be spoon-fed, but only entertained. And if the by-product of that entertainment happens to say something meaningful, then it is cherry on the cake. Isn’t it?
Millie Bobby Brown’s Film is Political and Powerful
Enola Holmes also couldn’t have come at a better time. While the world deals with one global socio-political crisis after the other, this film gives a nice reminder that human beings have always fought for the right, and will continue to do so. Even when things take time to change, the future will be better.
In a normal year, this would be the sneaky runaway feel-good hit of the summer – the family film that actually makes everyone in the family happy. Millie Bobby Brown is superb, because of course she is; there might never have been a more “no duh” casting choice in the history of book-to-film adaptations than casting her as Enola Holmes. I really hate using adjectives like “sparkles” when it comes to actresses, but that’s just the best word I can come up with. She’s having so much fun inhabiting this role and this world; breaking the fourth wall to share an aside with the audience here and there, running from the bad guys, working out cyphers, doing ju-jitsu and finding clues.
-Viewers Review (Andy Hicks)