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I’m grateful this year for streaming services such as Netflix, Prime Video and CBS All Access. Thanks to them, I’m able to watch fresh films and series. Recently I enjoyed watching Enola Holmes, a very fresh film indeed with a connection to familiar characters.
Playful and clever, with mysteries to solve, the movie delights and offers important life lessons, especially for girls.
Check out my spoiler free movie review for Enola Holmes.
Enola Holmes Cast
This Netflix original movie stars Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, Adeel Akhtar, Susan Wokoma and Fiona Shaw.
Harry Bradbeer directs the adventure crime drama. The film is based on the book “The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery” by Nancy Springer. There are currently six books in the series.
Enola Holmes carries a PG-13 rating, for mild violence and some intense scenes. The run time is 2 hours and 3 minutes.
It’s 1884 in England and the world is changing. One who keenly recognizes this is Enola Holmes (Brown), the much younger sister of Sherlock (Cavill) and Mycroft (Claflin). Due to the huge age gap, Enola hardly knows her brothers and her father died long ago. Raised by an intelligent, forward thinking and rather eccentric mother, Enola benefits from an unconventional education at home.
Rather than the traditional lessons in embroidery and housekeeping, Enola studies science, literature, art and self defense. She shoots an arrow better than she cooks. And Enola and her mother Eudoria (Carter) play word games and create secret codes to communicate with using a homemade decipher dial. Throughout her childhood, Enola…which is the word “alone” spelled backwards…experiences a free and playful lifestyle.
Her world shifts on the morning of her 16th birthday when Enola wakes up and discovers her mother missing. Perplexed, Enola only finds a birthday box from Eudoria containing a booklet on flowers, pencils and cards. When a week passes with no word from her mother, Enola notifies her older brothers, who journey home.
The Holmes Brothers
Mycroft Holmes is a wealthy aristocrat, working for the government. And Sherlock has earned a reputation as a brilliant detective. It’s been many years since they’ve seen their baby sister. Mycroft is horrified by her disheveled appearance and the disarray at the house, Ferndell Hall.
Mycroft sends money to Eudoria each month, for a carriage and household staff and teachers for Enola, all of which are nonexistent. As Sherlock uses his analytical skills in the house, he realizes no foul play is involved. Eudoria left freely and apparently does not intend to come back. Why, the siblings do not know.
And what to do with their young sister? Enola cannot manage the estate alone.
Mycroft, who finds his sister annoying, plans to send her to a boarding school for what he considers much needed refinement. He is her guardian, after all.
Sherlock feels more sympathy for the girl and finds her interesting and clever. However, decisions for her future are not his to make.
Mycroft sends for Miss Harrison (Shaw), the strict head mistress of Miss Harrison’s Finishing School for Young Ladies. Although Enola begs to remain at home, Mycroft makes arrangements to send her to the school.
On her last night at home, Enola discovers an encrypted message in the birthday box from her mother. Following the clues she uncovers money that her mother left for her and a note: “Our future is up to you”. Dressing as a boy, Enola runs away, boarding a train for London.
The Missing Marquess
On the train, Enola meets a boy her age when he pops out of a large travel bag. He introduces himself as Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquis of Basilweather (Partridge). He too is running away, from a family who doesn’t understand him.
Enola wants nothing to do with the young viscount…until she hears him screaming for help. She finds a man trying to kill the boy. Enola fights off the attacker and together she and Tewkesbury leap from the train.
Walking toward London, the pair of teenagers share their stories. A friendship forms between them.
Reaching their destination, they go separate ways. Enola uses the money from her mother to buy fashionable clothing and rent a room in a boarding house. She takes on the disguise of a noblewoman while looking for her mother. Enola leaves secret messages in the newspapers, for her mother, and tracks down a correspondent Eudoria wrote to often, Ethel (Wokoma). Ethel tells Enola that Eudoria does not want to be found and that she has secret…and important…work to do.
Abandoning her search, Enola discovers that Tewkesbury’s life is in danger, as is her own. Throwing caution aside, Enola goes into detective mode, to unravel where the boy is hiding and why an assailant hunts for him.
Mycroft hires Detective Lestrade (Akhtar) to locate Enola, however Sherlock uses his own sleuthing skills to hunt for his clever and elusive sister. The game is afoot! Or in this multiple level mystery, the games are on. It’s a race to see who finds whom first…and who uncovers the deeper secrets.
My Thoughts on Enola Holmes
I thoroughly enjoyed this fun, well done film. Sherlock and Mycroft are familiar and recognizably in character however it is young Enola who dominates the story. Millie Bobby Brown, whose star is certainly rising since her role in Stranger Things, is amazing to watch as Enola.
This movie was in fact her idea. Millie and her sister Paige approached the author of the Enola Holmes series with the idea for the movie. As a result, Millie receives producer credits for the film. At age 16 she’s one of the youngest actresses to ever receive that distinction.
Enola Holmes is a powerful film for girls to watch. I love the relationship between the young detective and her mother and the unconventional way the girl was raised. And I like the growing relationship between Sherlock and his sister. Enola exhibits intelligence, resourcefulness, strength and character apart from her brothers. She knows what she wants to do…and she figures out how to do it, learning from mistakes as she goes. I laughed and smiled and teared up a few times.
Intending to recommend the movie to my almost 12 year old granddaughter, I discovered when I mentioned it that she’d already watched it. She loved it too. Aubrey enjoyed the mysteries and the clues and liked the young viscount’s friendship with Enola. I had fun discussing the movie with her. We both hope the other five books in the series become sequels to this first successful film. Enola Holmes leaves that possibility wide open.
Have you seen Enola Holmes yet, on Netflix? What did you think?
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Find the Enola Holmes Mystery Series on Amazon:
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