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Enola Holmes Movie Review: Being Female In A World Designed For Men

Netflix’s Enola Holmes is an adventurous tale of puzzles, crime, independence and being female in a world designed for men. The star-studded cast revives Nancy Springer’s young adult novel appealing to audiences of all ages. Check out my movie review.

Enola Holmes Movie Review

We all know the story of Sherlock Holmes, but who knew Sherlock had an older brother, much less a spunky little sister named Enola? The new movie Enola Holmes, based off the Nancy Springer’s novel of the same name, is coming to Netflix September 23rd.  The film has a star-studded cast which includes Millie Bobby Brown who plays Enola, Henry Caville as Sherlock, Helena Bonham Carter who plays Enola’s mother Eudoria and Sam Claflin as the oldest Holmes brother Mycroft.  Check out my video movie review below.

Collection of 50+ Enola Holmes quotes from the movie.

Enola Holmes Movie Review On YouTube

If you’ve seen the Enola Holmes movie trailer, you would recognize the film starts off exactly the way it’s shown in the trailer.  Enola is introduces her family, including her mother Eudoria and two older brothers Sherlock and Mycroft, as well as explains her name, Enola which is “alone” spelled backwards.  Enola was raised and taught by her mother, as the two have occupied a manor on the country.  She hasn’t seen much of her brothers, however they have come to the manor to help her look for her mother, as she has gone missing.  With the great detective work of her brother Sherlock, it has come to their attention Eudoria has disappeared by her own free will and doesn’t want to be discovered.

The startling news has the brothers planning Enola’s future, since she is underage and can not live alone at the manor.  Mycroft wants to send her off to a finishing school. The past few days he has witnessed how “unlady-like” Enola has become under the tutelage of Eudoria and is set on setting things right.  Knowing this, Enola takes off in the middle of the night to search for her mother.  She brings along some items and clues left behind by her mother, clues to decipher which may lead to her Eudoria’s whereabouts, and this the adventure begins.

Enola Holmes Movie Review

Being Female In A Mans World

The movie is set in the 1800’s during the women’s suffrage, which was a movement to fight to win the right to vote for women. We learn early on Eudoria has brought up Enola untradtionally for the time.  Instead of teaching Enola to be “lady” and preparing her to become a suitable wife for marriage, instead she was taught martial arts, puzzle solving, and chemistry.  She was taught to be a free-thinking powerful female and she was giving the tools to allow her to spread this message of female empowerment.

There are two paths you can take, Enola. Yours or the path others choose for you.

And thus we see Enola choosing her path, as she leaves her brothers behind to search for her mother.  However, along this search she meets a boy in trouble Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge), who she helps get out of a jam on the train.  Although they part ways, Enola soon realizes Lord Tewksbury is in trouble and lacks the skills which she possesses, the skills to survive.  And so she makes the difficult choice to put the search for her mother on hold to help this boy.

If you want to stay in London, be tough, be tough, live the life, but don’t do it because you’re looking for someone. Do it because you’re looking for yourself.

This pivotal point in the movie is exactly the message which is so powerful in the film.  You see during this time woman didn’t have a voice, they didn’t even have the right to vote and most often had no say in what their future held.  Women were groomed for marriage and once married off, their rights and obligations were subsumed under their husbands. Women could not own property, enter into contracts, or earn a salary.  And we watch Enola Holmes defy the standards of that time, armed with knowledge and some kick-ass fighting skills.  She is a beacon of hope for all women who may feel treated unfairly.  She is a symbol of what women can accomplish despite repression.

Enola Holmes Movie Review

With way too many films these days over-sexualizing females and Netflix getting much heat for movies like Cuties, which over-sexualizing very young girls, Enola Holmes is a breathe of fresh air.  It is exactly the sort of film I want to sit down with my daughter and watch. Enola is the exact sort of role model I feel my daughter can look up to.

Overall Thoughts

Enola Holmes is a fun adventure with crime solving, deciphering puzzles, a little romance and most importantly a journey to self discovery.  With Sherlock Holmes at the helm, you would expect some detective work runs in the family, and while it while you may even figure out the “crime” before the rest of the Holmes family does, it is the journey that is the real entertianment.  With this film being based off the first book of a six book series, it also sets up the franchise to include future films.

The casting for this film was spot on. Millie Bobby Brown personifies Enola Holmes, Henry Caville a very believable inquisitive Sherlock, Sam Claflin will have you destesting the oldest Holmes brother, and of course Helena Bonham Carter delivers as brilliantly as to be expected.  The film drags at times, but one isquickly drawn back in with the action, mystery and butt kicking fighting scenes.  Enola is the young detective for our times, and after watching this film you will be like “Sherlock who?”

Enola Holmes Movie Review