Enola Holmes Critique

By Makenna Adams

“You have to make some noise if you want to be heard,” wisley remarks Eudoria Holmes to her daughter Enola, in Netflix’s new flick Enola Holmes. Based on Nancy Springer’s series, The Enola Holmes Mysteries, the movie follows the young protagonist Enola as she resolves to find her eccentric mother, whose sudden departure one day left Enola with an intriguing mystery to unravel. Before Enola can begin her quest, however, she meets the charming Lord Tewksbury, and must put her plans on hold. As she adventures from the pleasant English countryside to the bustling streets of London to locate her mother, Enola learns along the way the truths of the world, and discovers that remaining firm and confident in what one believes in proves key in making a difference. In the following article, I analyze key components of the movie—theme, characters, and plot—and while I’m choosing to remain vague with my opinions, I have not eliminated hints at certain spoilers entirely. Reader, beware!

Theme: Many themes encompass this movie. My favorite: making a difference means holding one’s ground, determinedly. Enola defies the stereotypes that perpetuated girls of her era. Despite threats from multiple outsiders, she remains firm in her decision to help Lord Tewksbury and find her mother. At the backdrop events in the movie is the sufragette movement; as women, like Enola’s mother, we come to find out,  fight for their right to vote, Enola embodies their spirit as she fights to protect Lord Tewksbury and stand up for herself. Overall: the movie has a good message that is portrayed well. 

Characters: For me, characters make and break movies. Overall, I loved the characters in this movie. Millie Bobby Brown portrayed Enola very well, embodying her fiestiness and resilience as she defies the many great expectations set in place for her. After watching Brown star as Eleven in Stranger Things for many years, it was fascinating to see her dominate a speaking role. Additionally, I loved Helena Botham Carter as Eudoria Holmes. While I don’t think she will ever top her performance as Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter series, I enjoyed her part in this film. The last actor I want to mention is Mr. Sam Claflin, who, most notably, played Finnick Odair in The Hunder Games. (Who, along with Harry Styles, will forever have my heart). When he appeared on screen as Mycroft Holmes, I was pleasantly surprised. Mycroft, presented as a despicable character, serves as one of the villains in the film, so while I did not love him as a character, I liked Claflin’s portrayal.  

Plot: While I liked the theme and characters of the movie, I did not find the plot particularly striking. There were several loopholes that left questions unanswered. The concept of the movie, in which Enola embarks on various mysteries, would in my opinion serve best as a T.V. series. I felt the ending of the story was anticlimatic and rushed; had the movie been a series, however, the story could have been drawn out more thoughtfully and in more detail.