Enola Holmes: Netflix Film Review

Enola Holmes

Forget Sherlock Holmes, Netflix’s latest original film shines the spotlight on his younger sister, Enola Holmes, as she becomes a sleuth in her own right.

Based on Nancy Springer‘s young adult novel series, the film follows Enola (Springer’s creation, not Arthur Conan Doyle‘s) as she investigates her mother Eudoria’s (Helena Bonham Carter) disappearance. Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) is messy and tomboyish so her horrified older brother Mycroft (Sam Claflin) decides to send her off to a finishing school to become a lady. But she wants to find her mum – so Enola outwits him and makes off to London to do some detective work, with her famous brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill) on her tail. On the train to London, she befriends Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge) and becomes involved in a dangerous conspiracy.

How you get on with Enola Holmes will depend on if you’re a fan of its quirky style. I enjoyed all the visual flourishes used to illustrate Enola’s plans and backstory, as well as Brown breaking the fourth wall to bring viewers up to speed about her story at the start, but I think talking directly to camera – something director Harry Bradbeer did a lot while working on Fleabag – was ultimately used a bit too much, even if it is all good fun.

Brown, who I have previously only seen in Stranger Things, brings great energy, charm and enthusiasm to the role. She gives her all and really sells the film, making the movie seem better than it is. I didn’t really care for the story but she made it fun and watchable, and if it wasn’t for her I would have probably lost interest once Enola reaches London. The film, with a runtime of around two hours, is too long and the inclusion of the Tewksbury plot makes it rather bloated. It begins as a side plot alongside her investigation about her mother’s disappearance but then becomes the main plot, with Eudoria seemingly forgotten about for a while.

Cavill is given very little to do beyond trying to find and outwit his sister so there’s not much to say about him really, and Claflin’s Mycroft reminded me a lot of the character he recently played in Peaky Blinders – very high and mighty and not particularly likeable. Bonham Carter is wonderful as the unconventional mother, although she’s in it very little, and I think young girls may develop a crush on new teen heartthrob Partridge.

Enola Holmes starts off strong but loses its way once the action in London begins. However, it is still a fun, feminist and entertaining movie for teens with a winning turn from Brown.

Streaming on Netflix from Wednesday 23rd September

Rating: 3/5

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