Uprising young actress Millie Bobby Brown stars as Enola Holmes in the film adaptation of Nancy Springer’s The Enola Holmes Mysteries series, but although it is not completely true to the book, is it worth the watch?
Set in the late 1800s, Enola awakens on her 16th birthday to find that her mother – Eudoria Holmes – has disappeared, leaving Enola alone (which ironically is her name backwards!). Enola sets on a mission to find her mother by following the clues she left behind in order to avoid being sent away to a finishing school for “proper” younger ladies by her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. While headed to London, Enola gets entangled with Lord Tewkesbury; a young runaway who is being followed by a mysterious man in a brown bowler hat.
Personally, I really liked it! The cinematography was captivating, the variety of realistic and visually appealing costumes was amazing, and the acting was phenomenal. Not only did the film brake stereotypical portrayals of woman in the 17th century, but it instead had an opposite effect and created a sense of empowerment for young women. Enola was not portrayed as a ‘damsel in distress’; arguably, the male side characters – such as Lord Tewkesbury and even Sherlock Holmes himself – were represented in this way. Enola saved Tewkesbury multiple times and even solved the family mystery before Sherlock. She is a strong woman who is able to fight for herself, even if she is wearing a corset!
To most people, the opening of a film is conceivably the most important part of any film, as it needs to draw in the audience. For Enola Holmes, I thought the opening was very informative. This made it easy to get an idea for what the plot of the whole film was and within the first 5 minutes, I was already hooked. The sense of mystery throughout the film was also very engaging. It kept me at the edge of my seat and kept me absorbed in the film.
I thought that the unconventional way of breaking the 4th wall was very interesting. By having Enola speak into the camera and directly address the audience, it created a comedic sense a times which could be entertaining to a younger audience (hence the age rating 12). I found it intriguing and it helped to keep me engaged as it felt like I was a part of the story. However, I think some people might find this breaking of the 4th wall quite unnecessary, and this in turn might make the film feel less realistic.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Enola Holmes. This mystery, drama, crime, adventure was very exciting. The cinematography was fascinating and exploded with colour, along with the costumes and acting. Not only did it create a sense of comedy through talking to the audience, but the portrayal of woman was empowering. It showed that women do not have to rely on men and can choose their own path in life.