Movie Review: Enola Holmes

Enola Holmes follows the adventure of the teenage younger sister to the more famous Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. Raised alone by her mother (Helena Bonham Carter) in the most unconventional of ways, Enola awakes on her birthday to discover her mother is gone. As much an attempt to flee the wishes of her eldest brother as a desire to discover her mother's condition, Enola quickly learns there is much about the world she has yet to discover.

Based on a series of books by Nancy Springer of the same name, the movie follows the first book. I have not read any of the series but could easily see additional movies being produced. Some elements, including moments of camera work reminded me of Neil Patrick Harris' A Series of Unfortunate Events. Both movies allow the narrator to break the fourth wall and draw the viewer into their inner world. The pace is quick and belies the two hour viewing time.

Directed by Harry Bradbeer, the movie is available on Netflix. There is a nod to teenage romance but barely surpasses flirting when her hand is kissed. The language is clean, but with significant hand to hand combat and several attempts on Enola's life, the violence can be intense for younger viewers. Set in Victorian England, the costumes and settings will appeal to steam punk enthusiasts. Detective sleuths will be challenged at decoding the ciphers, messages and hidden meanings while adventurers thrill to the action and daring escapes. And pervasive throughout is the Women's Suffrage movement with strong, independent female characters attempting to mold a better world.

Clearly targeted to teenage girls, everyone will find something to enjoy in this movie. Relationships are key as Enola possesses more passion than Sherlock and more feelings than Mycroft yet struggles to discover the proper balance between her heart and her mind. Her deep love of her mother is a major driving force, something lacking in the mental deductions of her older brothers.

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