Make way for Holmes, Enola Holmes!
By by Boski Gupta
Holmes was associated with Sherlock, until now.
There have been numerous spinoffs to the original plot of the famous Sherlock Holmes series written in the 19th century by Arthur Conan Doyle. If you have watched BBC’s famous Benedict Cumberbatch-essayed protagonist Sherlock, you must have been surprised by an entry of another Holmes. Sherlock’s elder sister Eurus. The character created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss is a genius yet cruel, and drives her brothers crazy.
In Harry Bradbeer’s Enola Holmes, Sherlock has a younger sister though. And she’s equally brainy! Based upon Young Adult novel series by Nancy Springer, this Holmes though feisty teenager who is undeterred, and unfettered, and is ready to take on the world, even though it didn’t recognise them as voters at that time.
Set in the Victorian times, the film is also a subtle commentary on changing times, women liberation and industrial revolution. Enola, essayed by Millie Bobby Brown, is supported by an equally unorthodox progressive mother (Helena Bonham Carter) whose disappearance causes the two elder brothers to land home.
It’s difficult to concentrate on the film when Henry Cavill’s Sherlock is on screen. Should we hear him speak or should we admire his hair? Sam Claflin is a well-cast snooty Mycroft, horrified at the ‘astray’ sister and wants to send her to finishing school rather than let her solve puzzles and practise jujutsu.
Sherlock is more compassionate and supportive, and the chemistry between Brown and Cavill is one of the best features of the film.
Another feature is the direct conversation with the audience (let’s not forget Fleabag was Bradbeer’s creation). Enola telling the viewers that she’s not a good cyclist while looking at them in the eye is so cool! It’s a hoot actually.
The adventures, actions, dialogues and scenery are up to the mark. The casting is well placed, but this is Bobby Brown’s show all the way. Bradbeer delivers as expected, though the length could have been shorter. But looking at the history, none of the Sherlock movies were shorter. If this is the first in the series of Enola Holmes films, we will say this is a good start.