Enola Holmes gives us a mystery we can all solve

Enola Holmes breathes new life into the classic detective story with something of all audiences!

Photo by Olivia Thorgersen

Enola Holmes breathes new life into the classic detective story with something of all audiences!

Netflix has been creating new original content left and right. It seems as if everyday they announce a new series or movie that somehow is always a hit. The latest in this string is Enola Holmes. Starring major talent such as Millie Bobby Brown (no stranger to Netflix as she stars as Eleven in Stranger Things), Henry Cavil, Sam Clafin, Helena Bonham Carter, and up and comer Louis Partridge.

The movie follows young Enola Holmes and her adventure to find her mother who disappeared the day of Enola’s sixteenth birthday. When Enola’s older brothers Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes (the famous detective) hear of their mother’s disappearance, they return home to investigate. However, when they learn Enola was not raised as a proper lady but rather a strong, independent, free thinker, Mycroft  wants to send her to a finishing school so she can transition into her society, now that he is Enola’s legal guardian. Unhappy with this decision Enola runs away in search of her mother.

Along the way she meets Lord Viscount Tewkesbury Marquess of Basilweather, (a young boy also trying to escape his family), along with many other characters. Using the skills her mother taught her as a child, Enola runs across England while trying to follow her mother’s clues. As time goes by, Enola quickly learns not everything is what it seems. 

Packed full of adventure, mystery, and humor, Enola Holmes is a perfect family movie. The movie is narrated by Enola Holmes through breaking the fourth wall which helps with the loads of information the audience has to keep track of. The first forty minutes are packed with a lot of plot so you definitely need to pay attention. For Enola, the beginning contains a lot of emotions mainly sad and angry causing Millie Bobby Brown to slightly overact, however this could be due to starring alongside seasoned actors. When Enola meets Tewkesbury, she runs into the second mystery she has to solve, who is trying to kill Tewkesbury, and by association, her? This is not the last mystery she will run into but I’ll save the rest for you to watch. 

The music, costumes, sets, and overall scenery are beautiful and add a lot to the movie. The mix of British countryside and the busy streets of London, along with the gorgeous mansions, create an enchanting scene that made me want to keep watching. After the initial adventure between Enola and Tewkesbury, they decide to go their separate ways in order to remain safe from capture and continue their respective journeys. When Enola arrives in London, the streets are paved with protestors who wish to reform their government. This may seem irrelevant when first brought up, but trust me, it isn’t. Additionally, understanding the word “marquess” is crucial. Marquess is a nobleman ranking above a count and below a duke. They often hold power in elections and with a reform on the minds of the people, the search for the missing lord is important. The characters will often refer to Tewkesbury as “the marquess” which took me a lot of rewinding to understand. 

Enola decides to change her appearance to become unrecognizable and turns herself into the image of a proper lady. Enola finds lodging in London and continues on her travels. She meets a former teacher of hers who was also a friend of Enola’s mother. In hopes of uncovering more clues about the disappearance, Enola questions the teacher, but gains no information directly. It is only after she is left alone Enola remembers her mother’s private meetings. Enola uses her deduction skills to figure out the next clue in her mother’s plan and moves onto her next location- a creepy warehouse in a dangerous part of England. Here she runs into some trouble once again with a past mystery. The common thread of being able to escape situations because of her mother’s teachings are again demonstrated in this chapter. 

Following these events, Enola decides she needs to help Tewksbury fight off those who want to hurt him as “he does not have the strength to do it on his own”. Once more, Enola changes her appearance to go unnoticeable, this time as a widow, justifying the fact that everyone tries to avoid talking about death and widows are a symbol of death. Enola travels to the home of Tewkesbury to gather information on where he might be. Following a similar pattern, Enola’s brother Mycroft enlists a separate detective to find Enola so she can be sent off for good.

Enola now has three separate people all searching for her with separate agendas. Sherlock, Mycroft, and the man in charge of killing Tewkesbury. Quite a lot of separate plots that hopefully all connect. Enola discovers information that will help her on her quest for Tewkesbury and travels to London. She discovers him in a market and they reconnect. Unsure of whether her mother truly wants her to be discovered, Enola questions what to do next. In a string of rather quick events, Enola and Tewsbury are separated once again. Following a brief emotional conversation between Sherlock and herself, Enola uncovers information and connects the dots to the mysterious man following her. To return the favor, Tewkesbury rescues Enola and they set out on their final adventure together; uncovering who wants them gone. The pair returns to Tewkesbury home to an unfriendly welcome. In the final, most suspenseful action sequence, they discover the truth. It is too unexpected and bizarre to reveal here, so I’ll keep it a secret!

The movie has many strong messages that are creatively communicated to the audience. Each message comes from Enola’s mother in a time of need. When Enola needs help making a decision, she remembers the lessons she learned as a child. Personally, I really enjoyed this movie overall. I was really confused when I first watched it, solely because there were just so many storylines and names to keep up with that I didn’t initially know where important.

The movie was definitely better the second time around. The casting was so well thought out and each performer embodied their character flawlessly. Additionally, the cast developed convincing chemistry that made me believe their relationships. The broken sibling dynamic and unlikely friendship were diligently thought out and represented. The suspense and puzzles added an extra level to the viewing experience. I found myself so invested in trying to solve the mysteries at the time the characters were.

This is a hearty tale of self perseverance and continuing on your journey no matter who or what is in your way. I would recommend this to pretty much anyone, especially those who like mystery. Just make sure you’re paying attention!