Movie Review – Enola Holmes – Rating, Plot Summary, Conclusion
My Rating – 3 out of 5
Movie Review – Plot Summary
This is a spin-off from the legendary Sherlock Holmes’ stories, which only took shape in 2006! Nancy Springer book series (for Young Adults) has added a sister, younger to both Mycroft and Sherlock, called Enola (a clever wordplay on ‘Alone’). This movie is based on the first book of the series, adapted for the screen by Jack Thorne.
Enola is growing up in the country with her mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) in the time when both her elder brothers have left home, in search of greener pastures in Victorian London.
Millie Bobby Brown is excellent as the teenaged Enola, Henry Cavill as Sherlock and SamClaflin as Mycroft are competent. In her lonesome existence, she is home-schooled by her mother, who compels her to read as much as she can. She also learns Mathematics and Science along with Jujitsu and Archery! But, one fine morning, Eudoria disappears, leaving cryptic clues as to her whereabouts.
Mycroft and Sherlock arrive at the family home to find their mother gone and Enola, their kid sister, becomes their responsibility. Mycroft, being the eldest, assumes the role of Enola’s guardian while Sherlock is entrusted the role of the Detective (surprise!) to find their Mother.
Enola, well-schooled by their enigmatic mother, is no daisy in the field. She is brilliant, street smart and a better detective than her older, more famous, sibling, Sherlock. She embarks on the journey of finding her mother, but, before that, she has to evade Mycroft’s plans for her. Her mother’s cryptic clues give her an idea where she might be and she has left some money for Enola to get there too!
Enola escapes, and while surreptitiously travelling to London, meets the charming Viscount of Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), another adolescent nobleman on the run. There’s an assassin on his tail, and the two teenagers barely escape his clutches! They eventually reach London and part ways, Enola secures accommodation, from whence she plans to launch her search for her mother.
Fate intervenes, and after a jolly merry go round in the darker corners of London, Enola is captured while the recently re-united Viscount manages to escape. Inspector Lestrade (Adeel Akhtar) brings her back home to Mycroft and Sherlock.
Mycroft, in the old patriarchal style, wants to send her off to Boarding School, where Enola can be groomed to become a lady and not a runaway rebel as she has capably demonstrated. She must fulfill her supposed destiny of matrimony and motherhood, once she graduates. Obviously, Enola disagrees, Sherlock avoids getting involved, and Mycroft temporarily has his way.
Enola is entrusted to the uptight tutelage of Miss Harrison (Fiona Shaw) and begins training to become the proper Woman! But Enola had other plans and with the surprising appearance of Viscount Tewkesbury, escapes the Boarding School and makes her way back to London to resume her for her Mother, while pondering over the mystery of why someone would want to kill the young Viscount and what he could do to escape.
Many a adventure later, with the tender teenage romance blooming in the background, Enola and the Viscount, reach his Mansion to confront his family and find out who is the conspirator. What happens next is for you, the viewer, to find out as I don’t intend to give away any spoilers as part of this movie review!
Movie Review – Conclusion
In the titular role, Millie Bobby Brown is heart-warmingly brilliant. She brings the right amount of verve, steel and vulnerability to the table and one can’t help but admire her spunk and chutzpah. Observed through the prism of nineteenth century European society, her rebelliousness, intelligence and a tentative submission to order is brought to the fore commendably, and here, the director Harry Bradbeer, has done an excellent job.
The obvious grouse that I have with the entire movie, and some who’ve watched it, might agree, is that more screen time should have been given to Enola’s detective prowess, not just limited to solving some crossword type clues. The character build up, where she appears markedly brighter than her much feted brother, fails to accord more ground to this side of her personality. Hopefully, if more books of the series are adapted for the screen, we would be able to see much more of that.
I would recommend that you watch this for the performances, particularly of Ms. Brown, stumbling and stomping her way to glory!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this Movie Review, as much as I’ve loved writing it! Keep watching this space for more!!