‘Enola Holmes’ Review: More than just Sherlock Holmes’ Sister

In this film, Enola Holmes embarks on a journey venturing through England and meanwhile discovering new aspects of herself


“Enola Holmes,” based on author Nancy Spring’s novels, is an exciting and adventurous film showcasing the life of a young girl fearlessly navigating her way through Victorian England. 

Enola Holmes, portrayed by “Stranger Things” actress Millie Bobby Brown, wakes up on her sixteenth birthday to find that her mother left. Her two brothers, Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin), are placed as her caretakers. Enola, being raised as a fighter, finds that she does not want the life her brothers suggest, so she embarks on her journey to find her mother through the clues left for her.

On her venture, Enola comes across a young boy, Lord Viscount Tewksbury, who happens to also be on his own journey away from home. Tewksbury (Lewis Partridge), is an entertaining and cheeky character who bonds with Enola over their desire to create their own path for themselves.

While many may not even consider the sister of Sherlock Holmes, this film provides an insight into the life of Enola and different women during the late nineteenth century. At countless points in the film, the audience sees Enola’s capabilities, both as a fighter as well as an analytical and clever detective. From the start, her brothers criticize their mother’s teaching methods and state that Enola should attend a boarding school for women. While there are those seeking to put her in her place, her mother, inspired by like-thinking women, taught Enola to not be confined by the patriarchal structures of the time. Along with readings of feminist novels, Enola was taught combat fighting, mental mind games as well as science experiments. This was not the conventional teaching of women during this time as many would attend finishing school.

Unlike most films, “Enola Holmes” seeks to connect more with the audience through breaking the fourth wall. Throughout the picture, Enola frequently speaks directly to the camera both immersing the audience into the storyline as well as showcasing her personality. At the beginning of this movie, Enola rides her bike through a field giving an overview of her life and upbringing. Her wittiness, knowledge and desire to denounce the social norms for women during the time are often shown through these moments.

While the film mainly focuses on Enola’s journey and those she encounters on the way, there is also a major political event taking place in the background. In 19th century England, women increasingly demanded their rights. Throughout the movie, many of the characters reference the upcoming election on the reform bill. This bill, if it were to pass, would give women the right to vote, a major political change for England. This was being decided in the House of Lords in which Lord Viscount Tewksbury played a vital role. When talking about women’s rights in the movie, it can be seen that some support this bill, while some disapprove. Enola’s desire for women’s rights can be seen through her many references of being raised on feminist novels and writers such as Mary Wollenscraft. 

“Enola Holmes” is a must-watch film that explores different themes of feminism, individualism and knowledge. Through the many talented actors and actresses, this movie was very informative and entertaining to watch.