Henry Cavill should be used in more period drama, vis-à-vis Enola Holmes

Gretchen Lee—Staff Writer

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And no, it isn’t just because he looked incredibly dashing in that Victorian-era suit.

I had mixed feelings going into my viewing of Enola Holmes, stemming from the fact that I am not particularly fond of lead actress Millie Bobby Brown. I initially wasn’t sure if Henry Cavill would be able to pull off playing the legendary Sherlock Holmes, and I was wary of the fourth-wall-breaking featured in the trailer for the film. However, all three of my main concerns were firmly squashed within the first 30 minutes of the film; Enola Holmes is an absolute delight.

Enola Holmes was raised solely by her mother, who taught her all of the skills a lady was not intended to learn, such as fencing, fighting, and the deciphering of codes. With both of her brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock, grown up and working in London, Enola has had very little contact with the outside world, causing her to form a close bond with her mother. However, on the morning of Enola’s 16th birthday, Mrs. Holmes vanishes with little trace. Determined to find out why her mother left without warning, Enola embarks on an adventure that will find her protecting a young marquess, running away from Mycroft, racing against Sherlock to find clues leading to their mother, and trying not to get herself killed or caught in the process.

“Enola Holmes is an absolute

delight.”

Overall, I deeply enjoyed this film. Enola was plucky and independent while still managing to skirt being annoying. The writers and actors managed to produce an incredibly well- developed character over a very short period of time that was both relatable and fantastic. Henry Cavill truly shone as Sherlock Holmes, making him feel like other iterations we have seen of the character onscreen while still adding the depth of his care for his younger sister. Seeing the man most known for playing Superman in a British period drama was a bit like seeing a professor in jeans and a t-shirt at Walmart, but, once the initial shock wore off, Henry Cavill fit the time period splendidly. I sincerely hope he delves into more historical films of this era in the future. The breaking of the fourth wall worked well with the atmosphere of the film and made it feel unique and interesting. It almost felt like a callback to the moments in the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes films where Sherlock would pause and explain how he was about to fight his opponent. The flashbacks to Enola’s childhood were also well-done and enhanced the quality of the movie by helping build background for the main character and help the audience understand her relationship with her mother. A great soundtrack, excellent cinematography, and a decent script were also hallmarks of Enola Holmes.

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The biggest flaw of this film, in my opinion, is missed opportunities for comedic and emotional payoff. Several side plots were started that reached only a partial completion. They may be completed in future sequels, but the loose threads of this movie made it feel a bit lacking and left me feeling like something was missing from the end. In particular, Enola’s reunion with her mother didn’t feel satisfying or “earned.” The audience wasn’t given a chance to see all of the building backstory between the two characters lead to that reunion and it left me feeling like filmmakers had run out of time or resources to play out the ending in a better way.

Overall, Enola Holmes was entertaining, smart, and novel. It is a unique, new take on an old favorite in terms of Sherlock Holmes as a whole and in terms of movies about teenage girls who save the world. I would very much so like to see more of the Enola Holmes character as well as the other characters introduced in this first film.

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