Whilst the story of Sherlock Holmes has taken many forms both in television and film over the years, the story of his younger sister Enola, has rarely seen the light of day.
Starring Netflix star child Millie Bobby Brown as the title character, Enola Holmes forces Sherlock to take a backseat, in favour of the much more refreshing adventure of his younger sister.
After the disappearance of her mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), Enola sets out to track her down. On her travels she meets a runaway boy, Lord Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge) and the two embark on a journey of self discovery, as they try and rid the clutches of their overly protective family members.
As Sherlock is forced to step out of the limelight, so are many of the tropes you would come to expect along with it. There’s no elaborate supervillain scheme. No murderer terrorising the streets of London. And to be honest, it only loosely features a few scenes where deep detective work is required. This ‘Sherlock’ adaptation is unlike anything we’ve seen that fits into that world before. A more kid friendly, family oriented piece that still knows how to bring in the older generation.
From the constant fourth wall breaking, the unique story structure and the sheer lack of focus on what you’d often consider the lead character, Enola Holmes does well to create its own identity, whilst retaining that noir, Victorian London crime charm.
Whilst Millie Bobby Brown quickly burst onto the scene with her unforgettable performance in the Netflix original series, Stranger Things, she had yet to really prove herself as a leading lady on the wider screen. With Enola Holmes, she does exactly that. Confidently commanding centre stage despite having to share the screen with Helena Bonham Carter, Henry Cavill (Sherlock) and Sam Claflin (Mycroft).
With a plot that may not be as fleshed out, or feel so authentically Sherlock-esque, it often feels like something is missing. There are some clever, well edited scenes here and there, but the moments that see Sherlock and Mycroft being bested by their intrepid little sister, is where the film shines the most.
When we live in a world that has already seen such highly regarded Sherlock adaptations, it’s hard to put this amongst the best of them. But where Enola Holmes tries to be so inherently different, and takes a style of its own, it becomes all the better for it.
Director Harry Bradbeer’s direction is wonderfully vibrant and contagiously fun despite being set in the gloom of late 19th century London. What on first glance may seem rather pointless, becomes worth while in the end. So much so that it wouldn’t be the worst thing to venture further with the character of Enola Holmes.