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mini review: “enola holmes” (2020)

“now, where to begin?”

enola holmes (millie bobby brown) has spent almost her entire life with just her mother (helena bonham carter). but, on her 16th birthday, she wakes up to find that her mother is gone. so, after narrowly avoiding being sent to finishing school by her older brother mycroft (sam claflin) and realizing that her other brother, the famous sherlock holmes (henry cavill) isn’t going to solve the mystery like she can, enola sets off to find her mother herself. and thus ensues an adventure full of detours, flowers and even death as enola travels to london and beyond.

“enola holmes” (sept. 23, netflix) was the most fun viewing experience i’ve had in a while. first off, millie bobby brown brings so much life to this character and to the film as a whole (it’s also her first producing role) with her youth (a 16-year-old playing a 16-year-old is how it should be!!) and charisma. from her narration to her acting in general to addressing the camera/audience, it feels like she was made to play enola. i don’t know a lot of movies or shows that are able to pull off breaking the fourth wall, much less make it one of the highlights of the work, but millie’s acting is perfect for it in “enola holmes.”

the youthfulness of the film is the main reason i found it so enjoyable: millie and louis partridge, who plays tewkesbury, enola’s companion on many of her adventures, are actually teenagers playing characters their ages. their dynamic feels genuine for their age bracket as opposed to that of shows like “riverdale” which star 20-something actors playing high school sophomores. enola and tewkesbury are so fun to watch on screen and everything about their characters and the actors’ execution is refreshing.

the film works great as a standalone, leaving just enough firmly concluded at the end to be satisfying, but giving space for plot lines and characters to grow in the future. it seems like netflix is gearing up for a franchise with millie, though, something that i find myself genuinely looking forward to.

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