Enola Holmes: Sherlock’s sister lives up to the family name

Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown plays Sherlock’s younger sister, Enola, who searches for her missing mother.


LA Times

Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) encounters intrigue and romance in her search for her mother.

Nhi Pham, Staff Writer

Hitting Netflix in late September, Enola Holmes gained lots of attention from audiences of all ages. Over its first five days after release, it was the most watched movie on Netflix.

Enola Holmes, a movie based on a young adult book series of the same name written by Nancy Springer, tells the story of the younger sister of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. The story takes place in England in 1884.

Enola is 16 years old and refuses to attend finishing school for young ladies as her brothers had hoped she would. Since her father died and her two brothers left home, she was raised by her mother alone, who has taught her different skills that supposedly were for men at the time such as chess, tennis, reading, and even jiujitsu. The story begins when Enola woke up on her 16th birthday and found out that her mother was missing. As a brave and determined girl, Enola is on a mission to find her mother on her own.

In the course of her journey, Enola meets Viscount Tewksbury, Marquess of Basilwether. Just like Enola, he’s running away from home. After saving Tewksbury from being chased by a stranger, the two go their separate ways to London. Just as Enola realizes the danger Tewksbury is in, she changes her mission from “finding mother” to “saving Tewksbury.” During their journey, as they go through many things together–helping one another and saving each other–their relationship grows. I was skeptical (and I suspect others were, too) that the two would make a sweet couple.

Part of why the movie is so successful is how the intense action scenes mix with humorous moments to thrill the viewers but also make them laugh. The romantic vibes between two young teenagers makes this a delightful and loveable coming-of-age movie.

The lead character is played by star Millie Bobby Brown. Before Enola Holmes, she has played the role of Eleven in Stranger Things and received multiple awards and nominations. Therefore, it is no surprise that Brown has successfully captured the emotions of the character, acting as an intelligent, independent 16-year-old Enola. Her famous detective brother, Sherlock Holmes, is played by Henry Cavill, who starred in many action as well as superhero movies such as Man of Steel, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. Besides the two leads, the characters of Enola’s oldest brother Mycroft (played by Sam Claflin), Viscount Tewksbury (played by Louis Patridge), and Enola’s mom (played by Helena Bonham Carter) contributed greatly to the success of the movie.

Many viewers who are fans of Sherlock Holmes felt frustrated that their great detective does not appear that much in the movie, and the Holmes fan might believe the mystery in the movie is too boring and easy to solve. Although Enola Holmes cannot be compared to Sherlock Holmes’ mysteries, it’s still a fascinating and enjoyable picture of the Holmes’s family.

Although there are some scenes full of fights and violence that can be too intense for some kids, the topics covered in Enola Holmes, as well as the language, are appropriate for everyone. The movie contains some political issues that might be confusing for viewers, but the main messages about feminism, believing yourself, and speaking up for what you believe are great for young adults, especially girls. Unlike many other teenage movies that tell the dark stories of being a teenager, Enola Holmes brings viewers a positive vibe, the good side of being young people who have the power to influence their own future and the world. As Enola says, “Our  future is up to us.”