Kelly Has No Plans to Watch Enola Holmes (2020) Again!

Rating: C+?

Summary: The younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes pursues her missing mother.

Don’t get me wrong- I liked many things about Enola Holmes. I thought Millie Bobby Brown was terrific and it was refreshing to see her in a role other than Traumatized Teen. I loved the costumes. I liked the relationship between Enola and her brothers. I think the film did a nice job of presenting the culture of the 1890’s (specifically women’s restrictions roles) and comparing them to those of today. I think if I were a teenage girl, I’d be all over this movie- but it’s not something I plan to return to any time soon and I will probably pass on any future entities.

I would say this movie is more of a teenage/coming-of-age story rather than a mystery movie. I don’t mind the whole “reimagining” Sherlock for young woman or the Extended Universe of Sherlock Holmes, if that’s what you want to call it. But I am a little critical of how it’s using the Sherlock Holmes association, which is purely to present a setting and a tone. It pulls a lot from the Guy Ritchie series, with a dose HBO’s Gentleman Jack, especially in music, mood, delivery; but it doesn’t really take the whole sleuthing thing to the level I was hoping for.

That’s probably my biggest complaint- mystery exists as a means to more or less move the plot along and to bring characters together. Similarly to my problems with the latest Tomb Raider adaptation, the audience isn’t invited at all to analyze the scene and to make deductions along with the protagonist. We’re not looking at shapes or tools or writing and being led visually to the conclusion. We’re being presented with… words. And then Enola uses her little Scrabble letters to rearrange those into other words. Or looking at a map and pointing to a street that uses the same letters. It’s all very wordy and there simply aren’t enough cues or visual devices that would help us come to the same conclusions as Enola.

While Enola is a decently entertaining character, she’s not nearly as interesting when she’s just looking around and pointing at things. And that’s too bad because I like her! She’s a great representation of a young woman, learning to navigate in a world she largely disagrees with- appropriately awkward and confident in different situations. It’s pretty clear that there are sequels in mind and that Netflix wants to turn this into a possible franchise- but I think I’ll pass.

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