By Hannah Edelheit
Boston University News Service
Enola Holmes returns to Netflix with a new story of mystery and adventure. The first film introduced 16-year-old Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) and followed her journey as she looked for her missing mother Eudoria Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter.) Her older brothers Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft Holmes (Sam Claflin) became her legal guardians as Enola searched for her mother. Along the way, she meets Tewkesbury (Lewis Partridge) as he is on the run from a killer. At the end of the movie, all of these characters go their separate ways.
The sequel begins with Enola Holmes starting her own detective agency. Clients refuse to give her jobs because of her gender and constantly ask about the availability of Sherlock. Just as Enola packs up her office to return home, a young girl, Bessie (Serrana Su-Ling Bliss), comes to her with a case. Bessie’s sister, Sarah Chapman (Hannah Dodd), has gone missing and she wants Enola to find her.
This film’s style is similar to the first movie with Enola constantly narrating and breaking the fourth wall to communicate with the audience. Newspaper clips are animated and the film depicts the fascinating inner workings of Enola mind as she looks for clues. The film is a strong follow-up to the original. It explores Enola’s detective process and her relationship with her family as she battles gender barriers in the 1880s.
The dialogue and storytelling keep the plot moving in a good rhythm without boring the audience. It has a lot of the same elements of a classic mystery with clues, murder and romance. However, Brown’s performance engages the audience and constantly challenges authority. It brings up the importance of questioning the world around you.
The film was based on the novel “Enola Holmes: The Case of the Left-Handed Lady” by Nancy Springer. Sarah Chapman was a real person and proved the matches were poisoning the women who worked at a factory. Mira Troy (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) brought up an important theme that “without power, we women must rely on wits for our fortune.”
Enola’s strong will and dedication to her case are inspiring to watch as she battles the forces against her. Enola was described as “a force of nature, a law unto herself, ” which is clear throughout the film.