Movie Reviews

Elementary, My Dear Reader | “Enola Holmes” 2020 Netflix Movie Review

Never has a literary character been as adapted as prolifically as Sherlock Holmes. Originally created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887, the World’s Famous Detective has been the center of countless movies, TV shows, and serials. Many of them coming out in the last couple years, it’s been hard to keep track; from the CBS show “Elementary” with Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock and Watson, the medical drama “House,” or even the BBC series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

Millie Bobby Brown plays Enola, a young girl raised by her mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) to live independently. After she disappears one night, her brothers are called to the home; stuffy and old-fashioned Mycroft (Sam Claflin) and her more renowned brother, Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill). When Mycroft plans to send her to a girls’ school, Enola runs off the find her mother. While searching for her, she gets entangled with a web of intrigue involving the young Viscount Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge) and a Reform vote in the House of Lords.

The cast does a brilliant job, with Millie Bobby Brown really standing out. Her outgoing, intuitive thinking brings her up to her more famous brother in deductive reason — even surpassing him. Both Claflin and Cavill react to her in a way that mirrors the times in the story; Mycroft being a rigid man of the time, while Cavill and Brown have a warm relationship that makes them believable as brother and sister. Louis Partridge is a character that makes the audience feel for him how Enola does; initially annoyed, but you grow to appreciate him. And the chemistry the two have feels reminiscent to Jo and Laurie in “Little Women.”

Watching the movie feels immersive to the mystery. The scenes where Sherlock or Enola are hitting the points of deduction make the audience feel a little bit smarter and know more about things like decoding. And Enola’s search compliments the political drama in the background. She fights against the patriarchal society for her own agency, with both her brothers sharing the sentiments of the time; Mycroft in his adherence to gender norms for his sister, and Holmes, while more open-minded than his brother, is still clouded by privilege to the point that he’s indifferent to reform.

I came into this movie wanting a fun adventure, and came out wanting more. The cast did an amazing job and complimented an already brilliant story that was intriguing with its plot turns and captivating action sequences. And it’s no mystery here, that this movie is definitely worth a watch.

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