“Enola Holmes” adds a witty side to the original Sherlock story

Art+by+Emma+Inge

Art by Emma Inge

Emma Inge, Staff Writer

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Netflix released the new film Enola Holmes on September 24, receiving a 91% on rotten tomatoes with a 71% audience score. Based on the book The Case of the Missing Marquess, the story follows Enola, sister of Sherlock Holmes, when she begins searching for her missing mother. As she embarks on her journey, she has to avoid her brothers, who want to send her to boarding school, while also helping a young lord on the run.

For someone who grew up watching Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr., I was thrilled to hear that there was a new film starring Enola, Holmes’s also fictional sister. 

However, after noticing that Milly Bobby Brown was the main actor for this Netflix Original, I was a little tentative. After watching enough Netflix Originals with young actors, I feel like I have come to expect that acting, screenwriting, and set design will be sub-par. These movies are often filled with cringey scenes, unnatural conversations, and unrealistic acting.

Within the first scene of the film, Enola turns to the camera and begins talking to the audience. It caught me off guard as I have never really watched movies from this point of view. 

I think they did this to make the audience feel like we were on her adventure as well. Oftentimes it felt like we were her sidekick, and she would turn to us to make a snarky comment. At one point she even asked the audience, “Do you have any ideas?” This component certainly made the movie less serious, but also created a youthful element.  

Contrasted to the 2009 and 2011 Sherlock Holmes, Enola Holmes had bright colors and music. She’s a 16-year-old girl, running around London, trying to outsmart her brothers. This movie felt relatable. With Enola seen as so independent throughout the movie, I think that we all wished we could be as clever or as witty as she was. 

The movie also touches on some more relevant points. Set in a time where England is on the cusp for change, several themes about democracy and gender roles are brought up. The release of this movie feels very timely with the upcoming presidential election. The love interest within the movie, Lord Viscount Tewkesbury, was the reason for the vote swaying one way. For this upcoming election, every vote counts. So when this theme was brought up in the movie, it didn’t feel more relevant than now. 

Ultimately, this was a breath of fresh air from the original Sherlock Holmes story. Although the movie was not groundbreaking and didn’t have an extremely complex narrative, it didn’t necessarily need one. The use of tight telephoto shots allowed for small details and emotions to be shown and the production design made England feel alive. It’s a movie I might watch again, I would give it a 7/10.