- Series, “Sherlock,” created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, Moriarty
- Enola Holmes saw Mira Troy for the very first time when she was snooping around the match factory
- It would be quite interesting to see where they take the character of Mira Troy in “Enola Holmes 3.”
With the release of the first Enola Holmes film on Netflix in the bleak days of 2020, Millie Bobby Brown demonstrated that her magnetism alone could propel an entire feature picture. As Sherlock Holmes’ frequently resourceful and occasionally irresponsible adolescent sister, a noncanonical character created by novelist Nancy Springer in 2006, the young actress blazed through a mediocre mystery, one whose lukewarm turns and straightforward solutions actually heightened her radiance.
Who the hell had the mental energy to focus on the intricacies of the case at the time? ), so we could simply enjoy Brown’s performance, which was full of smiles, darting eyes, and cheeky asides to the audience. The film was not extremely original, but its lead actor was.
The first film followed a naive Enola as she investigated the disappearance of her obstinate mother (Helena Bonham Carter), and the plot hinged heavily on the protagonist’s innocence. Through her naive and occasionally thunderstruck perspective, we might experience this stifling Victorian society. In Enola Holmes 2, our protagonist opens her own detective agency in the hopes of one day surpassing her brother Sherlock’s success (played again by Henry Cavill).
With its intricate plot, ambitious action sequences, and historically significant setting, one could conclude that this new picture is attempting to be more of a standard-issue mystery. In the end, though, its success depends on the charisma of its adolescent star. In general, it thrives, even if its glitter is somewhat diminished this time around.
Enola’s most recent case is the disappearance of Sarah Chapman (Hannah Dodd), a young woman who worked at a massive match factory during the day and a dance venue at night. Enola begins to think that Sarah’s disappearance had something to do with sinister activities at the match factory as soon as she infiltrates the filthy, typhoid-ravaged warehouse where she worked as an assembly-line worker.
Naturally, Sherlock is gradually drawn into the scenario, and Cavill continues to make the most of his wink-wink miscasting by portraying the notoriously intellectual, unstacked detective as a brusque, intelligent, muscular brute. David Thewlis, as a snarling, nasty Scotland Yard commissioner who makes no effort to conceal his disdain for Enola, also joins the festivities this time around.
Consequently, the performances remain attractive — Bonham Carter also returns for a brief action sequence — and, despite its narrative ambitions, the picture seems to recognize that its power is in its cast, particularly its leading actor. Brown is not quite the wide-eyed wonder she was in the previous picture, in which her youth and naivety were her greatest weapons. However, the actress continues to find humor at the junction of the archaic and the contemporary. Her archaic mannerisms do not come off as precious, eager-to-please ploys for audience favor, but rather as vulnerable moments: Enola is still a child attempting to maintain composure and frequently failing; she breaks, but she breaks in character. A scene in which Enola is captured mid-cake bite while semi-stalking her MP crush, Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), is funny because to its persistent vacillation between politeness and desperation.
Enola struggles to understand the hidden language of hand fans and painfully attempts to communicate with a man who is her top suspect on a mission to infiltrate an elegant society party (yep, we get another delightfully unnecessary “‘Tis I!” reveal).
Even the somewhat choppy, breathless direction of Harry Bradbeer is masked by the strength and vitality of Brown’s performance. He cuts all his scenes too quickly, as if he’s afraid we’ll weary of the Victoriana he’s obviously spent a lot of time and money recreating. But atmosphere was never actually included in the contract, was it? Bradbeer also directed Fleabag, and his primary role is to illuminate the centerpiece, fourth-wall-breaking act, a task he executes capably and effectively.
And perhaps the film’s quick, “never dwelling on anything” pace is effective in another way. Attempts to add contemporary elements to these types of stories frequently get incredibly unpleasant very soon (and there will surely be those for whom the Enola Holmes movies will feel like cynical attempts to fuse Gen-Z attitude with period atmosphere). The first picture had a slight modern political edge, placing Enola in a diverse group of parliamentary reformers and women’s-rights activists who kicked their buttocks.
The new one is significantly more extensive: It is sad that the person who hired Enola to solve this crime is Sarah’s sister Bessie (Serrana Su-Ling Bliss), herself a penniless match-factory worker. But the film is also engaging; it understands not to take itself too seriously and never feels like a sermon on the Dark Ages. Despite its narrative embellishments and socially aware flourishes, Enola Holmes 2 is fundamentally a film about a brilliant and courageous girl who solves murders. And what sort of fusspot could have an issue with that?