Sherlock’s sister is here to be a detective of her own and is worthy of the Holmes name and she proves this in Enola Holmes 2!
What is it about Sherlock Holmes that makes him so exciting to watch? The dialogue from Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock ‘brain’s the new sexy’ holds true as an answer for this in every sense. It’s the mysterious ways in which his mind works that make him so endearing to watch as he solves crimes one after the other. And when you talk about his sister, Enola Holmes, it’s a given fact that she will be compared to him vastly, as the Holmes family, in general, was considered to be genius, at least Mycroft and Sherlock were. This is why a film on Enola automatically makes up for an exciting concept! And it seems like, with Enola Holmes 2, the film has found its own ground!
The first film which majorly relied on Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes books introduces us to this young genius in the Holmes family, Enola (Millie Bobby Brown), who is anything and everything but a proper lady as Mycroft points out to Sherlock (Henry Cavill). And the credit goes to their darling mother Eudoria Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter), a suffragette who is apparently missing and on the run.
In this sequel, Enola wants to make a name for herself as a detective while keeping the value of her last name intact. But no one wants to take the help of a young woman and hence Enola is on the verge of shutting the shop when a little girl reaches out to her to find her missing sister, Sarah Chapman. And so begins a series of situations in which Enola finds herself, like working in a match factory with other young girls, going into sleazy theatres where young girls perform, and going to a ball. And during all of this, she gets framed for murder too! After previously being just a shadow in Enola’s life, Sherlock gets more spotlight here, as he’s helping Enola as well as being busy solving his case which seems to later connect to Enola’s case.
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Though it’s quite feminist and experimental in nature by breaking the fourth wall, Enola Holmes was a tad disappointing because of its uneven structure and trying to compete with the immense popularity of Sherlock. But with the second film, it seems like that film has found its footing and rhythm in its own sense while involving the much larger presence more enthusiastically. Victorian-era art design that reminds you of Peaky Blinders and Alienist serves well for the purpose of the film even if looks fictional. It’s a fast-pace action-oriented film that doesn’t forget to build a repartee with the audience as well as amongst each other. All the experimentation from the perfect timing of breaking the fourth wall, costumes that allow you to run from rooftop to rooftop, and the dialogues make it a film of today even if it’s set up in the victorian-age. It’s a light, fun, well-intentioned, and well-structured film that’s filled with too many easter eggs from the Sherlock Holmes realm.
The writing done by both Harry Bradbeer (director of both Enola Homes as well as Fleabag) and Jack Thorne blends the worlds of Enola and Sherlock quite well together as if they really needed each other. While one has a world full of enthusiasm, action, and romance, and doesn’t shy away from emotions while being a detective, the other lives at 221 B Baker Street in quite a haphazard manner and is all alone while solving case after case. But more than the sibling’s bonding, the film doesn’t forget about social issues and swiftly touches on feminism and class disparity wherever it can. It was an ingenious ploy to involve the real story of Sara Chapman who was a part of history that led to the first-ever industrial action taken by women for women.
The heart of the film still is Brown in spite of Cavill being heavily involved this time, as Sherlock in no way overpowers Enola, rather he swiftly blends into her world. To see Edudoria (Helena) come into the present from being just a character in the past with her homemade bombs was enthralling. And of course, our lovely Lord Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge) who is still a nincompoop for Enola but someone that she loves now is a thrill to watch! With illustrations, choreographed action sequences, animated moments, a witty repartee, the creme de la creme cast of Britain, many jump-worthy moments, and a mystery to solve, Enola Holmes 2 is a light-hearted quirky thriller!
With all its feminism, it does pinch you that a film based on Enola Holmes needed a Sherlock Holmes but only to teach him a thing or two and to learn a thing or two from him. These two siblings teach you something very valuable – no two people who have grown up in the same house can be the same but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need each other from time to time. With the way things ended, it seems like a third part might be coming, and let’s hope that we get to see the sibling duo probably competing for the same case because that would make for quite a watch!
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