This new Holmes adventure focusing on Sherlock’s younger sister is filled with plenty of mysteries and puzzles to be solved.
Based on Nancy Springer’s series of young adult novels focusing on the aspiring detective, what starts off as Enola simply looking for her mother who has disappeared turns into something more dangerous as she attempts to discover who is trying to kidnap young aristocrat Tewkesbury.
Filled with plenty of word games for her to solve as well as a few excellent fight scenes that Enola gets to really be involved with, it is certainly a bold and contemporary take that covers themes such as female empowerment and independence in a time when men had all the control.
Perhaps Jack Thorne’s adaptation feels as though it concentrates on this side of things too much – but there is no denying that it will perhaps inspire younger audience members, particularly when they watch Enola piecing together the clues. Yet it all feels as though it unfolds really nicely – particularly when it comes to Enola’s differing relationships with her brothers. She is more than a match for both of them – despite Sherlock’s seeming disinterest and Mycroft’s overbearing and pompous nature as he sends her to a strict boarding school.
Both very different elements of the story could have been brought together in a better way – as it stands it feels as though two separate plots are unfolding but don’t really have much to do with each other – except both are about changes in society.
There is no denying though that there is a great sense of warmth, humour and spirit that comes through – particularly thanks to Millie Bobby Brown’s self-assured and engaging performance that really draws the audience into her character’s confidence – particularly when she breaks down the fourth wall to talk directly to the camera.
There is a great diversity of characters and performances elsewhere to be enjoyed. Not least Fiona Shaw as the prim and cold Miss Harrison, Helena Bonham Carter as the unconventional and intelligent Eudoria Holmes and the somewhat under used Adeel Akhtar as Lestrade.
It is consistently engaging and as mentioned earlier, the fight scenes are wonderfully choreographed and look impressive on screen, highlighting the sheer energy that is delivered throughout.
Overall, it is an immensely enjoyable adventure that offers new insight into the Holmes family – capturing a more compassionate outlook on the eccentricities and intelligence of the family.
By Emma Clarendon
Enola Holmes is available to watch on Netflix now.