HomeMoviesEnola Holmes 2 Review: Evolutionary My Dear Watson

Enola Holmes 2 Review: Evolutionary My Dear Watson

Photo Credit: Alex Bailey/Netflix © 2022

Written by Nynoshka Vazquez-Suazo

The first installment of Enola Holmes proved to be a cute, entertaining film, filled with well-known actors and an interesting twist on the beloved story of Sherlock Holmes. Enola Holmes 2, is an evolved sequel, dealing with not only solving a mystery but also women’s rights and your classic coming of age tale. 

The plot has two major threads. The first is loosely based on the Matchgirls Strike of 1888, led by Sarah Chapman (Hannah Dodd). This was the first ever industrial action taken by women for women. The second, as seen at the end of the first film, finds Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) now free to make her own way in the world, as she tries to establish her own detective agency. It seems that all hope is lost for Enola, until one little match girl stumbles into her office, hoping to find her missing sister. 

The plot is filled with complexity and layers. Enola battles to maintain her pride throughout the film as she tries her hardest to be the independent woman her mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) taught her to be while also attempting to step out from her brother Sherlock’s (Henry Cavill) shadow. On top of that, she’s a young woman, figuring out her own feelings while searching for the truth, navigating through relationships and embracing the allies she makes along the way.

Enola Holmes 2 is much deeper and more dramatic than the original as it focuses more on the emotions of every situation, as well as how Enola’s world seems to be unraveling right under her nose. The emphasis on the relationships in this film is deeper, in particular the brother/sister bond between Sherlock and Enola, as they both very stubbornly find a way to work together. As Eudoria brings to Enola the light that allies rather than pure loneliness can be useful, Sherlock begins to see that as well. Bringing out a sort of warmth in him that you did not see before as he was so cold. Similarly, the romantic relationship between Enola and Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge) was everything a shipper could ask for. 

During the scene when Enola drags Tewkesbury into the bathroom to teach her to dance, the tension was oozing from every corner of the screen. All a viewer could want at that moment was a kiss, but alas it didn’t happen giving into that slow-burn trope. As the film goes on Enola starts to embrace him and open up to him more, eventually both confessing their love for one another and sharing a kiss, screech worthy indeed. Another swoon-worthy moment to mention is towards the end of the film when he shows up at her office with flowers, a girl’s dream. Even detectives have their crushes and awkward ways of admitting to them.

Director Harry Bradbeer and cinematographer Giles Nuttgens maintain with their frequent use of breaking the fourth wall. Enola interacts with the camera, with eye contact and conversation, making the audience feel involved and part of the story, and furthermore part of Enola’s detective process. The case in particular gives an entertaining take on the Matchgirls Strike and the events that occurred. Bessie (Serranna Su-Ling Bliss) goes to Enola for help in finding her sister Sarah, not sisters by blood but by circumstance. Enola’s acceptance of the case plunges her deep into something bigger, and more dangerous than she expected. Enola Holmes 2 in contrast to the first film carries darker truths within the case. 

Murder and violence are the main plots within the film, subjects untouched in the first, making it more grown. Through the darkness and mystery, there is a sense of comic relief. Enola as a character is quite sarcastic, these moments mostly occurred whilst she broke the fourth wall but other funny bits were scattered in the film to lighten up the severity of the case and to tie it back to that familiar feeling of the first film. There is even a scene where Enola, as she hung in front of his window, asked a boy for a favor and it cuts to him wearing her dress and scarf, bringing lightheartedness and acceptance into the film. 

Enola Holmes 2 brings to light the divisions between the working class and the high social class. This is noted in the environment and treatment the matchgirls would endure daily. This is further emphasized when Enola sneaks into the factory, her coming from a posh standing, her reaction to the environment in their living conditions and the factory, and her lack of skill show this difference. Similarly in the ball scene, even within the high social classes there is a difference as Enola’s dress is made fun of by other attendants. 

Lastly, and probably one of the most prominent and modern takes in the film is the leading women, even more so women of color within a women;s rights-based case, revolutionary. Bessie is played by a young Asian girl. Edith (Susan Wokoma), Mae (Abbie Hern), and the leading villain Mira Troy (Sharon Duncan-Brewster), are all black women. This film encompasses the ideals of the original Matchgirls strike, the power these women held, and the change they created. Now in 2022 the fact that that story could be shared by women of color is extraordinary. 

Enola Holmes 2 further continues the cute warming entertainment created in Enola Holmes but grows beyond that. Giving a stab at modern issues, such as gender equality, while also becoming more adult with murder and love. Dr. Watson’s (Himesh Patel) first appearance in the after-credits scene, may just be the exciting easter egg for the next installment.

Enola Holmes 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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