‘Enola Holmes’ Empowers Young Women Through Adventurous Stories

Raiyan Shaik, Reporter

As the current pandemic makes movie-going difficult, “Enola Homes” brings the 2006 Nancy Springer character to life in viewers’ homes. The Netflix original film has garnered many positive reviews, maintaining a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Actress Millie Bobby Brown, accompanied with a star-studded cast, champions the strong, resourceful lead with a natural performance. Full of inspirational messages and beautiful Victorian era styling, the film makes for the perfect fall time watch. 

The story follows Enola Holmes, sister of Sherlock Holmes, in her journey to find her missing mother. As a sheltered girl, who had not been raised as a “lady,” her behavior often garners much attention, a key factor in the film. The two hour long, PG-13 movie ranges from humorous to emotional to action-packed. Accompanied by the runaway Lord Tewksbury, played by rookie actor Louis Patridge, she journeys across London enduring hardships and escaping the clutches of her eldest brother, Mycroft Holmes, all while in search of her mother. 

 An interesting aspect of the film and ones of its strongest appeals is its creative cinematography and visuals. One such creative choice was how Enola often broke the fourth wall, directly speaking to the audience. Bringing down the fourth wall allowed for the viewer to be more entranced in the action taking place on screen and build a deeper connection with the character herself. This connection was doubly important as the film is entirely focused on Enola and her growth as a person. Additionally, many scenes consisted of scrapbook elements, contributing to the visual appeals of the film. The visuals were further enhanced by the Victorian age clothing and sets which were absolutely gorgeous and maintained the desired aesthetic all throughout. The uncommon cinematographic choices and beautiful imagery gave the film its own uniqueness and drew my interest as a viewer.

A criticism I do have, albeit small, is that of the ending. Although the ending adequately sets up a sequel, it was still fairly rushed. Many relationships ended and conclusions were drawn way too quickly without much time to process, especially considered the screen time dedicated to other situations. The ending may have been better leaving certain plots open to be resolved in the next film rather than address everything very briefly, leaving much desired for the viewer.

One of my favorite aspects of the movie is its purpose to empower women and promote feminism. With a focus on Enola, the less famous Holmes sibling, the film draws attention to the capabilities of a driven, young woman, especially in an age where women were less valued. Enola is often seen in combat and saving Tewksbury, an elite male, acts uncommon for a woman at the time. Society around her, including Mycroft, keep trying to drive her into “being a proper lady,” however she outsmarts them all several times and manages to take care of herself on her own. Additionally, the underlying plot of the fight for women’s suffrage taking place contextually is arguably one of the best parts of the movie, emphasizing the inspirational feminist message tenfold.

Hands down, “Enola Holmes” is one of my favorite movies of the year. It had already taken the TikTok community by storm, skyrocketing the young Patridge into fame, and now has me rewatching as well. The film keeps its audience captivated at every turn with its brilliant styling, creative filmaking and emotional themes. The story beautifully captures the journey and growth of the interesting Enola Holmes, and also reminds women that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with. With discussions of a possible sequel taking place right now, indeed, “Enola Holmes” is a great watch for any.

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