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Enola Holmes: A Netflix Movie Review

Enola Holmes Movie Poster

If you’re a fan of anything related to Sherlock Holmes or even just anything within the mystery genre, then I have a movie for you! Enola Holmes is a new movie that made its big debut on Netflix on September 23rd, starring Millie Bobby Brown as Enola (also known as Eleven from the hit Netflix television show Stranger Things), as well as Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games trilogy), and Henry Cavill (Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher, another popular Netflix show!). Claflin and Cavill play the roles of Enola’s two older brothers, Sherlock (yes, he’s in this!) and Mycroft. I was actually excitedly waiting for months for this movie to come out, and let me just say that it was definitely worth the wait! 

Enola is a free-spirited, spunky, and intelligent teenage girl, the only Holmes child who still lives with their mother, Eudoria (played by the amazing Helena Bonham Carter). She and her mother are extremely close, with her mother teaching Enola everything from chess to sword fighting while also encouraging her to make her own choices and be an independent woman; which went against the social norms created for females during this Victorian time period that the movie was set. One day, Eudoria mysteriously goes missing and it is up to Enola to find her. She tracks down her brothers, both of whom she hasn’t seen in quite some time, and they fail to help her (for reasons I won’t disclose because this is a spoiler-free zone). From there, Enola follows in her famous big brother’s footsteps and puts her detective skills to good use, going on her own adventure to figure out where her mother is while at the same time helping a young lord on the run (does this brew into a romance? I’ll never tell). 

I absolutely adored this movie for a number of reasons. Not only was it really wholesome and SO funny, but it also sent out an amazing message about female individuality and feminism. If you know anything about the Victorian era, you know how women and girls were viewed back then. You know that they were looked at as inferior to men and society stated that they should be confined to the house doing strictly domestic tasks. You also know that during that time, young girls were being brought up to serve men, and they needed to act a certain way in order to be accepted as women. That mindset rang true in Enola Holmes and you can actually see this blatant sexism through one of Enola’s brothers, Mycroft. He disapproves of all that their mother has taught Enola as he believes “ladies” are not supposed to be learning things like jiu-jitsu and science. He wants to send her to a boarding school where she’ll get taught to become a prim, proper, and overall subservient lady. Obviously, this didn’t go over too great with Enola; you get to see how she defies her brother in this way, as well as how she broke through the stereotype that was put in place for women during this time. I really loved how Enola fought against these social norms throughout the entire movie and proved herself to be capable and heroic. She also served as a role model for girls everywhere, teaching female viewers to create their own adventure, not be afraid to let your imagination run wild, and, most importantly, never let a man (or anyone, for that matter) tell you how you should think. Being a woman myself, Enola Holmes seriously resonated with me. It was a fun and refreshing twist from the classic plot of Sherlock Holmes;I also loved how it focused more on the passion and determinedness of women. I highly recommend this movie as the underlying message found in it is something that I feel a lot of people need to hear. Okay, now I think it’s time for a rewatch!       


Sara is a junior at SUNY Oswego, double majoring in English and Creative Writing, with a minor in Communications. She hopes to one day work for a publishing company, as well as live out her lifelong dream to write books. Her favorite things to do are read (psychological thrillers and fantasy novels are her favorites), write, travel, work out, watch Netflix, and cook!
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