'Enola Holmes': Brown shines, Henry Cavill backs her just right
The scintillating trailers of Netflix movie Enola Holmes make you rise up from whatever mundane entertainment you have been treating yourselves with. Obviously, the film is about Millie Bobby Brown and if you want to watch it for her alone, you are going to get a lot more than Brown. It's time you keep the controversies aside and focus on the film. Let's start.
Enola, a name conceived out of the ceaseless word-playing habits of her mother Eudoria Holmes, is in fact an insult to the character as her name, spelt backward, is 'Alone'. Interestingly for us and frustratingly for Enola, this wordplay goes a bit too far after Eudoria leaves Enola one day, leaving behind an array of gifts, which carry secret messages that Enola must decipher.
Off goes Enola, hopping from one wordplay to another, deducing hidden messages from unsuspecting items inside their homes and decides to find her mother. Unfortunately for her, Enola's two elder brothers Mycroft and Sherlock (yes, the unforgettable sleuth by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) dispute each other's opinions about her future, now that her indomitable and unsociable mother has left her.
Enola's adventures thereon take on a fiercely feminist stance as the woman battles various social stigmas and stereotypes to inch closer to her mother on the run. She discovers how women in the Victorian era are ill-treated, ill-groomed and even ill-educated to live a make-believe life for a society only their fathers, brothers, sons and husbands relate with and endorse.
That's where the film gives a dramatic twist to mysteries young Enola have been rather forced to solve. The film latches on to the concept of gender equality soon enough and through the fearless encounters of this detective called out for being female, Brown becomes a bit too comfortable about swapping clothes with men to ape a boy - back to Stranger Things days!
Now a bit about the controversy surrounding the film: Enola Holmes is nowhere on Doyle's fiction. Nancy Springer conceived the character by taking inspiration from the original backdrop of the Holmes family to create a young adult fiction series spanning six titles. The film faces a lawsuit from Conan Doyle Estate, which claim that Sherlock depicted in the film is from copyrighted content.
But that shouldn't stop you from enjoying the subtle connections Henry Cavill's Sherlock and Brown's Enola have as siblings. Helena Bonham Carter plays Eudoria deftly, teaching everything daring and dangerous which a regular British mother is prohibited from. The persisting backdrop of The Third Reform Act harping on broader voting rights in England makes the film timelier and all the more interesting historically.
Louis Partridge plays Enola's friend-turned-love interest as Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether. The film depends on him, and he does justice with his brief screen appearance. Regarding Brown's effortless performance, watch out for the scene when Enola loses breath. Since Brown feels that the story isn't over yet, I'll wait to give full score for the next as I leave Enola Holmes with 4/5.