When you hear ‘Holmes’ it sounds like an all to familiar story to write. However when you realise this is about a teenager carrying the name we see she lifts it very high to standout as a detective to take seriously.
Enola Holmes, played by the brilliant Millie Bobbie Brown, is out to find her mother after being left on her own before her infamous brothers come back to dictate her life.
Enola was raised by her eccentric mother, the most respected and loved person in her life. Her brothers left early and did not have any influence on her upbringing as we see when they return and try to correct her mothers ‘mistakes’.
Through her mothers tutelage she rejects the idea that she should have learnt to be a proper lady of the house and likes the idea she learnt some proper skills to use in life and maybe some useless ones (she’s clearly not a tennis player).
Sharing the screen with the iconic Sherlock and the outdated Mycroft, Enola stands tall to match their wit and carve her own story, without the need for anyone’s approval except for that of her mothers.
Enola carries the burden or being a Holmes, female and teenager with her and the audience on her back. Her pieces to camera work excellently to to give us a glimpse at her thoughts, whether this is in humour or to raise and eyebrow at the 1800’s period silly expectations.
Having Enola be fierce, intelligent and full of wit fills this film with substance and character. Her interactions with the other characters and the environment around her make for interesting viewing and each scene brings something worth watching.
Despite being set in the 1800’s it does a good job to bring modern normality to such a strange period that Enola must fight through. Millie’s excellent portrayal of Sherlocks younger sister shows just how talented Millie really is.
She leads this film with ease, shouldering many ideas that would normally fall flat without charisma or talent. The film runs at a pace to give the fast action a contrast from the sweeping countryside and chivalry of middle class England. Enola’s lack of respect for the ideals she is expected to portray add to the excitement of the mystery.
The final layer that Millie is able to portray as Enola comes as a story of a teenage girl trying to find her place in an ever changing world. This narrative gets her mixed up with a young Lord and trying to save women everywhere. It’s her growth from an introverted countryside girl to a captivating city female pointing at the world around her that gives this film extra dimensions and shows how Harry Bradbeer is great at blending genres.
At the very best this film is charming through its characters or score and it’s lows make for some silly detective work backed by a good story. There’s really not much to dislike here and I hope Netflix continues to back this lot and maybe give us a franchise backed by Nancy Stringers original literacy and Jack Thorne’s adaptation.
Starring: Millie Bobbie Brown – Enola, Henry Cavill – Sherlock, Sam Claflin – Mycroft & Helena Bohnam-Carter – Mrs Holmes.
Directed by: Harry Bradbeer
Written by: Jack Thorne (Nancy Springer adaptation)