Enola Holmes Review
September 23rd, 2020
Another star studded movie from Netflix is Enola Holmes. Starring Stranger Things fame Millie Bobbie Brown in the lead role, the movie also features Superman fame Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, and Helena Bonham Carter. Directed by Harry Bradbeer, how does this spin off of Sherlock's little sister fare? Let's find out in this review.
Enola Holmes goes in search of her missing mother (Helena Bonham Carter). Whether she finds her or not and how Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge) is intertwined with her adventure and mystery forms the rest of the plot.
In the title role, Millie Bobby Brown is OUTSTANDING. She delivers an all around performance with not a single flaw and gets to show that the Stranger Things fame isn't just a one hit wonder. There's more talent to this 16 year old than most people imagine and she literally carries the movie from start to finish. She has all the makings of a superstar in the coming years and she is effervescently charming and charismastic as Enola Holmes. There's talk of a this being a franchise and the first entry in the series serves as a perfect star vehicle for Brown.
Louis Partridge who's also 16 years old is sure to become the next big thing from England in Hollywood very soon. He's also extremely charming and impressive as Tewksbury. His good looks help in the sincerity of the performance and he already has a commanding screen presence. His chemistry with Brown is sizzling and it's refreshing to see a romantic couple outside of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler.
Henry Cavill is the 3rd superhero to play Sherlock Holmes in media after Robert Downey Jr and Benedict Cumberbatch and he is equally as as charming and dependable as ever. His Sherlock takes the backseat as it is Enola's story but Cavill shines in a mentor like role for the protagonist.
It's Sam Claflin who leaves a lasting impression as a surprisingly evil Mycroft Holmes and he is extremely good at making you loathe his character throughout.
The Dark Knight Rises and Pacific Rim fame Burn Gorman gets to play an evil henchman who trails the heroes throughout the movie and he is entertaining. Adeel Akhtar gets to showcase his take on Inspector Lestraude and he does well.
The rest of the cast in Fiona Shaw, Frances de la Tour, Susie Wokoma, David Bamber, Hattie Morahan are all aptly cast.
Lastly, Helena Bonham Carter is fantastic as usual. The enigmatic veteran is superb in her limited screentime and make the most of it.
Direction by Harry Bradbeer is adeqaute. The screenplay is essentially combining two different stories with no relation to each other and trying to make it one seamless narrative. He succeeds to an extent but the execution is neither good or bad. The good thing is that movie never derails itself from what seems like an overstuffed plot. The subplot with Tewksbury is a little convoluted in how ties into the overall narrative but it's more for Louis Partridge to showcase his acting skills and build the romantic track with Enola Holmes. Bradbeer manages his star cast well with Brown, Cavill, Claflin, and Partridge all delivering excellent performances. The uneven pace though at times did feel like a dampener. Some parts of the movie are slow and other times it seems perfectly fine. The technical output is equally as impressive. Overall, Harry Bradbeer gets a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong which ultimately results in Enola Holmes being a strictly OK victorian adventure.
Music by Daniel Pemberton is EXCELLENT. The calm background score for the most part perfectly compliments most of the narrative and is soothing to the ears. Cinematography by Giles Nuttgen is FANTASTIC. The rich visuals throughout whether it be a palace or the aerial shots of the lush greenery in England are a VISUAL FEAST. Editing by Adam Bosman deserves a SPECIAL MENTION. It's quirky and massively entertaining to see all the different artwork and cuts inserted throughout the movie. Always makes for a fun watch. Production Design by Micheal Carlin is WORLD CLASS. Recreating the Victorian Era in England is no easy feat and Carlin passes with flying colors. Whether it be the palatial home of the Holmes' or the streets of London during that era, the sets in the movie are beautifully created and provide a great visual experience. Costume Design by Consolata Boyle is AMAZING. Once again the Victorian Era transports you back in time to the days of the rich aristrocrats and wealthy Englishmen and all of the costumes are a delight as each actor looks incredibly stylish in every scene. Visual Effects by Michael Bruce Ellis are EXCELLENT. The Big Ben, Tower Bridge in London, streets of London and the surrounding terrain in the train chase sequence are recreated very well through VFX. Action Sequences by Jo McLaren are decent. Production Values by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Millie Bobby Brown, Paige Brown are EXTRAVAGANT. A lot of money was spent of the film and it clearly reflects in all the departments of the movie.
+ Millie Bobby Brown and Performances Overall
+ Production Design
+ Costume Design
- Uneven Pace
- Confusing Mesage about Feminism
Another week and another star studded movie from Netflix in the form of Enola Holmes. When the movie was first announced, it was interesting that they casted Millie Bobbie Brown who hadn't really had the opportunity to showcase her talents outside of playing Eleven in Stranger Things. The addition of Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, and Helena Bonham Carter raised expectations. So how does the movie fare? Well I think I keep setting my expecatiations too high and Enola Holmes ended up as a strictly OK watch in the end.
The movie is a spin-off of Sherlock Holmes and focuses on her sister Enola and Millie Bobbie Brown's relentless energy and charisma power the movie from start to finish and makes it watchable. One does feel that the two stories are not seamlessly joined which could put some people off.
The uneven pace also becomes an issue as some parts feel slow and other parts seem fine. The other confusing thing was the concept of feminism. For some it will seem fine given the movies setting and the need to let women be on their own to explore and grow but some dialogues such as "men are terrible" and the "world is changing" seem to have some type of agenda sort of shoving this feminism down your throat.
Also those expecting an intense or interesting mystery like the RDJ movies or Cumberbatch's Sherlock are sure to get disappointed as the movie is more about going through the motions than cracking and solving a mystery. Nontheless, Enola does get her moments to shine and show her wit and the movie definitely has some very enjoyable moments that make it decent fun in the end.
Overall, Enola Holmes is a decent Victorian Mystery Adventure. The knockout performance of Millie Bobbie Brown in the lead role and the rest of the casts performances, costume design, grand sets, and gorgeous cinematography cancel out the shortcomings of this spinoff. You may watch it with low expectations or if you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes in general.