WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
While searching for her missing mother, intrepid teen Enola Holmes uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart big brother Sherlock and help a runaway lord.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
I knew I'd love Enola Holmes. A refreshing, new Holmes, determined to find her mother, goes on an adventure and solves a mystery along the way that changes the course of history, all the while revealing that the one person who can outsmart the great Sherlock is none other than his baby sister. As the youngest of three siblings, this storyline makes complete sense to me and as a young girl who dreamed of investigating, solving mysteries, you can say, and sharing stories with the world, it was about time we finally learnt of Enola Holmes.
Enola is a brave, sharp character. Knowing nothing about the outside world, she embarks on an adventure on her own, using the skills her mother taught her to outwit even an assassin. Millie Bobby Brown plays the character, and not only makes her a likeable one but manages to get viewers to go on her journey along with her.
Although Enola's alone – "My mother named me Enola, which backwards spells alone," she says – her character breaks the fourth wall and lets us in on what's going through that head of hers. Millie's got the fierce, badass thing down, having played Eleven, fighting monsters from the Upside Down, for three seasons of Stranger Things now. I enjoyed the fun, humorous side of Enola that she brought to life, which made it a genuinely enjoyable adventure film to watch - one that carries a lot of meaning for children and adults.
On her journey, she meets Viscount Tewksbury, played by Louis Partridge, who also gave a standout performance as a young runaway lord who'd rather pick flowers and go mushroom foraging – a novel idea for a young boy at the time.
Although it's an adventure film for young girls and boys, Enola Holmes offers much commentary set against the backdrop of the early days of women's suffrage. Helena Bonham Carter, Sam Claflin and Henry Cavill also star in the film, but it's really Millie Bobby Brown and Louis Partridge who take centre stage showing their characters' growth. Both manage to highlight the vulnerabilities of their characters so well in an ever-changing world.
In an interview with Channel24, Louis says you see Enola in boys' clothes while Tewksbury has long hair; Enola's no damsel in distress, she's the one saving Tewksbury, while he'd much rather be reading up on flowers than living the life expected of him. The corsets, the hair, it's all a symbol of oppression, but it's a world that needs changing – which is a powerful message for young girls and boys to take from the film. I quite liked that there was more to it than the literal mystery that needed solving.
As per society's gender norms, Louis says: "Enola's more like a boy than Tewksbury is, and that's okay. [I hope] young people take from it that that's completely fine. You should go for it, be yourself."
When I think of everything that went into making this funny, witty, captivating, emotional at times, movie, from the well- thought out evolution of Enola's wardrobe to the chopping off of Tewksbury's hair, I cannot fault it. Millie Bobby Brown and Louis Partridge gave so much life to these characters we've yet to see on film and TV. It's heartwarming knowing girls and boys the world over will identify with them, look up to them and aspire to be them.
Channel24's interview with Millie Bobby Brown also highlighted something altogether inspiring about the message of the film: that life's not necessarily about being alone, but following your own path.
"I personally think this film is a great message for teenagers out there who struggle with loneliness," Millie says, adding that she hopes the film will communicate that we all have to take time for ourselves – to find ourselves.
The game is afoot! Now that's an adventure, if ever there was one!
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: