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'Enola Holmes' Should be Left Alone

Janeen Mathisen

Posted on September 27, 2020 01:46

5 users

This movie, sadly, isn't as great as it seems.

"Enola Holmes" is an outwardly charming but inwardly bumbling addition to the scores of Sherlock Holmes films. It centers on the fictional detective’s younger sister Enola as she attempts to find her missing mother, which ends up wrapping her in the adventures of the people she meets along the way — in particular, a young runaway Viscount, which is, unfortunately, to the film’s detriment.

Unfortunately, this movie stumbles many times along its path and does not stick the landing. While Millie Bobbie Brown’s acting is outstanding, the movie itself exists in an unreal alternative London that, as an example, hosts Asian martial arts dojos — while this isn’t a central point, the film’s reoccurring minutia of historical inaccuracies serves to be distracting and immersion-breaking.

Enola is spunky and starts the film by breaking the fourth wall immediately. To the film’s credit, these fourth wall breaks were consistent up until the very end which cannot be said for some other movies, so that was a pleasant surprise. However, one of the film's most egregious actions were some glaringly harmful pieces of dialogue which paint all men as stupid, inferior, and all-around bad. The movie’s good intentions of a “girl power” message are severely hampered by this, as to raise women up should never equate to bringing men down. Unfortunately, this aspect of the movie — while technically only consisting of small throwaway lines — is one of its biggest problems that tear through the charm of the movie like a thorn.

Equally disappointing is that the main story is never resolved in a satisfying, logical manner. The quest to find Enola's mother is abandoned halfway through the movie and never given a proper resolution, resulting in the bitter dissatisfaction of poor screenwriting. Adding to this scriptwriting laziness is the sad realization that Sherlock is only Sherlock in name only, as the classic trait of him being a cold-hearted detective is only half true, as he continually displays affection for Enola. Here, there’s nothing to separate his personality from any other detective, despite the fact that the movie claims to exist within the always-logical Sherlock Holmes universe.

Overall, this movie is a confusing and harmful collection of ideas that, despite an initially interesting premise, falls flat when it comes to delivery. While charm does come in abundance with its good acting and musical score, the overall plot and message of "Enola Holmes" are fuddled and unclear, with gnarls of meanness hidden in the script like shards of glass. "Enola Holmes" released on Netflix this week, so put on your deerstalker and give it a watch if you feel so inclined.   

Janeen Mathisen

Posted on September 27, 2020 01:46

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