Updated: Apr 29
Netflix's Enola Holmes 2
Molly Kober, Staff Writer
Two years after the original, Enola Holmes 2 starring Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill has been released on Netflix. Based on the book series by Nancy Springer, this action-packed film set in the late 1800s takes us through Enola’s first solo detective case based on the true story of the Bryant and May Match Girls Strike of 1888.
On her quest to find the missing Sarah Chapman, Enola battles ageism and double standards, while working to build her own legacy separate from that of her notorious older brother, Sherlock Holmes.
The Emmy award-winning director Harry Bradbeer wastes no time in establishing the premise of the film, hooking viewers instantly. Rather than beginning where we left off in the first film, we open with an intense action sequence.
Brown’s Enola gracefully breaks the third wall throughout the film, similar to the narration in the book series. Thus, establishing trust between her and the audience, making her character all the more likable. This creative choice gives viewers a look into the inner workings and emotions that a stubborn and strong-willed character like Enola would never dare say to just anyone. Her boldness is both her greatest strength and weakness, which is explored during the movie when she learns to use it as a tool rather than a shield.
Viewers also see a more vulnerable side to the infamous Sherlock Holmes, played by Cavill. We meet Sherlock in a hilariously intoxicated condition unable to stand on his own two feet. Enola begrudgingly guides him back to 221 Baker Street, where she is horrified at the disastrous state in which he has been living. Their magnetic chemistry as siblings is incredibly convincing through their petty teasing and banter, all the while being fiercely protective of one another.
This film is not without its female role models, starting with Enola’s mother Eudoria Holmes played by Emmy award-winning actress Helena Bonham Carter. Eudoria is very clearly Enola’s guiding light in all of her decision-making shown through the flashbacks that appear throughout the movie.
The shift from teacher to observer illustrates both Enola's growth and that of her mother from the first film to the sequel. Eudoria’s genius, fearlessness, and fierce independence are ever present in both her children in a variety of curious ways. Eudoria and her confidante Edith, played brilliantly by Susan Wokoma, are the perfect picture of strength, confidence, and femininity.
This film truly has it all including a romantic plot between Enola and Viscount Tewksbury, played by Louis Patridge. His honesty and gentleness paired with his unfailing desire to do good make for a character everyone can root for.
Many of the viscount’s traits are displayed in his costumes, such as his affinity for nature shown in his flower-embroidered vest. The costume also plays an important role in Enola’s transition into a serious detective. We see her at the end of the film in a caped jacket, much like the famous caped jacket of Sherlock Holmes.
By leaving strategic hints throughout the movie that all come together in the end, the audience is taken right along with Enola on her nail-biting adventure. The attention to detail from prop placement, costume design, and set design makes the movie more and more intriguing with each viewing.
Full of loveable, complex characters that you can’t help but cheer on, while also telling the important story of the Bryant and May Match Girls Strike, this film is surely going to knock your socks off!
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