Enola Holmes 2 does not fall behind the expectations set by the first movie
On Nov. 3, Netflix released the mystery film Enola Holmes 2, directed by Harry Bradbeer. Set in the 1880s, the movie blends comedy and wit into a powerful feminist story.
In Enola Holmes 2, Enola Holmes, the younger sister of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill), has a knack for solving mysteries. Her proto-feminist mother, Eudoria Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter) raised and educated her and encourages her to follow her passion of becoming a detective. Enola, a quick-witted and lovable protagonist, is a proto-feminist as well; she never settles for the misogynistic norms and attitudes of her time period.
Unfortunately, people do not trust the capabilities of a female detective, often turning to her brother instead. As she is about to close down her office, she is suddenly handed her first case: the case of a missing girl by the name of Sarah Chapman (Hannah Dodd).
Meanwhile, Sherlock Holmes is working on a difficult case of his own. Every clue he follows leads him to a dead-end. His frustration unexpectedly leads him to seek help from his sister Enola.
The story follows the two siblings through their journey as they solve the mystery while discovering the true meaning behind family.
The plot of Enola Holmes 2 is based on the events of the 1888 matchgirls' strike and its leader, the labor activist Sarah Chapman. The activists protested against the long work hours that were common during the Industrial Revolution. The film brings awareness to such an influential event in a humorous and elementary manner, making it easier to digest for the audience.
The plot is fast-paced and filled with endless twists and turns that keeps the audience guessing. There's never a dull moment in the film, and this rapid-fire pace is a nice reflection of Enola Holmes' quick and creative problem-solving ability.
The two Enola Holmes movies convey a strong feminist message through the character Enola by revealing her equal footing with her brother's investigative skills. However, the feminist message continues from behind the camera as well. The Enola Holmes movies were produced by the main actress, Millie Bobby Brown, and her older sister Paige Brown. They were inspired by the strong and stubborn Enola Holmes in Nancy Springer’s “Enola Holmes Mysteries” book series. Paige Brown focused more on the pre-production side of the movie by developing the story while Millie Bobby Brown focused more on the production aspect as the main star of the film.
The storyline of the movie includes a romance between Enola Holmes and the rich, politically progressive Viscount Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge). While Enola Holmes likes to assert her independence from others, Tewkesbury is someone she feels that she can accept help from, although grudgingly. The two reflect a realistic yet sweet relationship. While they often joke around with each other, they still take time to have serious and productive discussions where they can emotionally support one another. Despite their screen time together being very limited, their moments are heartwarming and wholesome.
Don’t let the romance fool you though— this film is thrilling and action-packed at its core, and its many fight scenes pack an exciting punch. Enola is a jiu-jitsu master and is often seen handicapping her opponents through punches and kicks. The plethora of action emphasizes Enola's role as an all-rounded character with both mental and physical prowess.
One unique aspect of the Enola Holmes movies is the breaking of the fourth wall, which adds comedic effect while providing Enola with the chance to share her inner thoughts. Brown often looks straight into the camera while delivering her lines to the audience. For instance, at times of discomfort, Enola grimaces at the camera exaggeratedly, then quickly turns away.
Despite all the good qualities of the film, the film does have some shortcomings. For instance, the excess of action present in the movie draws too much away from Enola's cognitive power as a detective. Seeing her constantly running around and fighting illustrates her as a more hasty than level-headed character.
Furthermore, the clever technique of breaking the fourth wall quickly becomes overused and stale as the plot progresses, causing the audience to see Enola less as a character but as the actress Brown herself. The fact that Brown's personality closely matches that of Enola does not alleviate the confusion.
Nevertheless, the film is still worth a watch. The actors' expertise, especially that of Brown and Cavill, helps the audience fully immerse themselves into the plot. In addition, the many different aspects of the movie – mystery, comedy, romance, action – blend well together to keep the audience hooked throughout the two-hour watch. Overall, Enola Holmes 2 is a comedic and clever feminist masterpiece, sending a compelling message about the balance of independence and interdependence.
Enola Holmes 2 is rated PG-13 for some violence and bloody images. It is now streaming on Netflix.
Sophia Zeng. Hi! I'm Sophia and I am the Internal Managing and Humans of Blair editor. I enjoy playing the piano, biking and listening to music. More »