‘Enola Holmes’: The Fierce Holmes Outwits the Smart One

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When it comes to new entertainment, for the last two years or better, most of my new favorites appear on platforms like Netflix. This Netflix original, another in their line of book-to-screen adaptations, this time from the novel by Nancy Springer, which is, Enola Holmes (2020). And yes, she is one of those Holmes.

Enola Holmes (2020) Netflix Review

Growing up in the country, Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) wants us to know just how her story starts. Her father died when she was quite young, and not terribly long afte,r her two elder brothers left home, leaving her with little to no memories of the men in her life. Since then, it’s been just she and her mother (Helena Bonham Carter). But in the wake of her sixteenth birthday, Enola finds her mother missing – but where could she be? This inspires her to reach out to her brother, Sherlock (Henry Cavill). An avid collector of newspaper clippings regaling her brother’s intellects leads her to believe that surely he will know what to do!

While Sherlock may want to help despite a busy life, it’s their elder brother Mycroft (Sam Claflin) who is less than happy to be back. And so, without their mother and now the legal guardian of the feisty Enola, Mycroft sets out to reform her by placing her in boarding school. Only trouble is, unlike her brother Sherlock, it would see Mycroft underestimates his little sister…

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‘Enola Holmes’: The Fierce Holmes Outwits the Smart One. A review of Enola Holmes (2020), the Netflix adaptation. © Rissi JC

Ways to recreate popular stories is something popular in cinema, both the small and big screen. This is one of those recreations being about Sherlock in some sense, but actually more of Enola’s narrative as she narrates her own story (in an almost journal format by talking directly to us through the camera). This takes a moment to adjust to, but once we do, I find it actually quite cute.

This leads me to the characters, especially Enola. She’s a fabulous addition to the Holmes siblings, and wonderfully played by Brown. She presents her in a kind of humorous way with the right balance of sass, humor and yes, even a few times, deep emotion. I like nearly everyone in the cast, including Enola, the pesky boy she doesn’t want, and yes, even Cavill’s Sherlock.

Taking this role is another he’s criticized for; but I actually quite like seeing Sherlock as less of an intellect (in the way he comes across) and more of a family man (Mycroft is a bit too annoying towards his sister). It’s nice to see him embrace this kind of role (and I love that Sherlock takes her wits in stride with pride), and to see the cute moments he has with Enola. Of course, I’d have liked them to have one more scenes together, but we get what we get. In addition to the main cast you’ll spy David Bamber, Burn Gorman and Hattie Morhan, too.

The story isn’t one I always agree with. Enola’s mother still feels selfish (though I’m in a minority here as most love the angle her story promotes) though I do appreciate that she lets Enola choose a path rather than dictate. The story ends well enough, but there is also so much more to tell with these characters. This even includes the ones you might not think will return. I hope if a sequel happens, we see more of everyone, and enjoy more Holmes sibling bonding; because together, they’re unstoppable.

You can stream Enola Holmes (2020) exclusively on Netflix.

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‘Enola Holmes’: The Fierce Holmes Outwits the Smart One. A review of Enola Holmes (2020), the Netflix adaptation. © Rissi JC
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Content: There is some profanity, “action” violence like explosions and guns. Someone is shot in the chest, another impaled in the head; and there is one or two crude references. The film is PG-13.

Photos: Netflix / Lionsgate

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

9 comments

  1. Watched it this weekend and was highly entertained. It’s delightful (and clean) fun. I liked the different take on Sherlock.

  2. Thanks for your great review, Rissi! I enjoyed watching Enola Holmes…a fun new take on Sherlock. I liked the sibling aspect. I also enjoyed seeing Henry Cavill play the role of Sherlock. He is one of my favorite male actors. The show had intriguing twists and characters. I hope there will be a sequel!!

    1. SAME! I really liked Henry in this role and hope he returns for sequels (which I’m pretty sure Netflix is going to produce). Either way, like you I liked seeing the siblings together and all around think this one is great fun. :)

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