The first Enola Holmes movie blew me away. The character of Enola is such a fresh take on the Sherlock Holmes stories that have been adapted thousands of times. She shows us the struggles that women faced in her time period, but also how women could find ways to overcome those struggles and be something unexpected. The highly anticipated sequel, Enola Holmes 2, continues to explore a woman’s place in this world while also diving into Enola’s character growth.
Fresh off the victory of solving her first case, Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) has decided to open her own detective agency. Unfortunately, her lofty expectations of a celebrated career like her brother’s are quickly dashed. No one wants to hire someone young and female to solve their case. After an extended montage of Enola interviewing case after case and getting turned down, she’s considering shutting down when a poor little matchgirl appears on her doorstep, looking for her lost sister.
Enola can’t turn down a case or an opportunity to help someone, so she accepts. As she starts to investigate the disappearance, however, she finds that there is more to it than she originally thought. In order to solve it, she needs the help of her brother Sherlock (the charming Henry Cavill) and her friend Lord Tewksbury (the even more charming Louis Partridge).
While the first movie was set against the backdrop of the Women’s Rights movement, this movie concerns the struggles for worker’s rights. Sarah Chapman, the missing girl in Enola’s case, is based on the real Sarah Chapman, leader of the 1888 Bryant and May’s Matchgirl Strike. As a history geek, I love when fiction leads me to learn about some small part of history that’s often overlooked.
The most realistic teenage romance
The most delightful element of the film was the blossoming romance between Enola and Tewksbury. At the end of the first movie, we saw the first hint that they might be more than friends. Now Tewksbury is using his role in government to enact many positive changes and he and Enola’s paths rarely cross, until she starts pursuing this case.
Every scene between these two seethes with awkwardness. Tewksbury doesn’t know how to tell Enola that he only loves her, and she would rather call him a nincompoop than reveal her true feelings. As someone who was a teenage girl not that long ago, I can confirm that’s exactly how I acted. Truly, it might be the most relatable romance I’ve ever witnessed on screen.
But it’s not a 100% cringe fest. We also get to watch him teach her to dance and her teach him to fight, both adorable examples of how they complement each other.
Read More: ‘Enola Holmes 2’: Here Are 5 Differences Between The Book And The Movie
One theme that runs through the book series is Enola’s desire to not be alone. The movie picks up this theme and explores it not only with the character of Enola, but Sherlock as well. Both siblings have a natural tendency towards solitude—spending time with others does not come naturally. Enola tries to solve her case without anyone’s help. She continually pushes Tewksbury away as he keeps offering assistance, but in the end, she couldn’t have done it all without him. Sherlock also needs Enola’s help on his own case, and learns that maybe he doesn’t mind having her around after all.
Enola Holmes 2 is just a good time, with the bonus of really growing Enola as a character, and a small side of the perfectly awkward, yet swoon worthy romance that I was hoping for.
Enola Holmes 2 is now streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer here.
Featured images courtesy of Netflix.
Enola Holmes 2 - 9/10