I have to declare first that I am helplessly addicted with anything Holmes – since I was very young. Agatha Christie too but that’s different topic. When Robert Downey Jr played Sherlock, I was vibrating with excitement because it is two of my favourite entertainment become one. Anyway, when the story of Enola got written a while back by Nancy Springer, I of course bought one after another. Given that I am feminist, the idea there is a female Sherlock Holmes, got me beyond excited. I enjoy all the books absolutely.
So when it got made into a movie, at first I got a bit apprehensive whether it will be decent because movie-book usually at least a bit disappointment. Simply because what is written is enjoyed differently than what is watched. More imagination poured into reading while more of visual enjoyment typically came out of movie. However as Holmes addict, of course I cannot miss any Holmes movies. So I watched both 1 and 2.
Movie 1 focusing on the raising of Enola Holmes as teenage girl who aspire to be female detective (and I I dare say also independent young woman perhaps). She and her brothers lost their intrepid multi-hypehenate and fiercely independent mother – which they are all looking for. At the same time, Enola got entangle with young Lord Tewkesbury who fled home and in the process they all got entangle into big national security matter. Movie 2 focusing on her first step toward becoming full fledge detective which struggled to get her first customer being a young girl and all, but then gained first customer and get involved in a missing girl case who turn out to be related to much bigger case investigated by Sherlock. A typical detective story and typical Holmes story but what matters in a Holmes-related story is the pace, the intricacies of the case and the backstory as well the typical dry humor for drama of this era.
Both have Millie Bobby Brown and Louis Partridge as female and male leads, playing Enola Holmes and Lord Tewkesbury respectively. Helena Bonham Carter played Eudoria Holmes, the Mother Holmes. We also have Henry Cavill played Sherlock Holmes and (in 1) Sam Claflin played Mycroft Holmes. Lastly, we have Adeel Akhtar as Inspector Lestrade.
For a series produced by a 16 years old, it was incredibly well made and mature although admittedly Brown started in the industry as child actor at 9 years old and at 12 years old already received critical praise for her performance in Stranger Things playing the role of Eleven. As well as named as most influential teen by Time magazine on the same year. Therefore the sense of feminism and new beginning radiating in both series and to me, it alone make it both inspiring and entertaining to watch. The dry humor I am looking for also appear regularly in the series, makes me smiles and even sometimes laugh throughout both movies. While the mysteries in both movies are elementary (my dear), but still these mysteries are of smart ones and in tune with the history in the era. Brown acting as Enola is solid one but to me surprisingly Louis Partridge played Lord Tewkesbury role well, growing from awkward teenage boy to be a handsome lord who still have tinge of awkwardness but all this year continue to have affection and admiration to Enola Holmes. They have decent chemistry that light the screen. Helena Bonham Carter played the Mother Holmes with her superb craft of an acting, funny frustratingly independent and unique for her era. Henry Cavill perhaps can played Sherlock Holmes a bit stronger but it is a very very big shoes to fill given Robert Downey Jr and Benedict Cumberbatch as well Johnny Lee Miller – and am naming just a few, not to mention the crack veteran like Peter O Toole, Michael Canine and Christoher Plummer.
While the OST, costume and setting are of typical English Victorian Era, but none of them stood out to be not good, it is just nicely fit into the era and typical moderation of that era. I particularly like the history that become the backstory of the Movie 2 but that is perhaps because I am ferociously feminist. As movies, I find both thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. In fact I rewatch the first movie before I watch the second movie. For sure it is a mother (teenage) daughter movie to me (where I can talk about subject I love most, how to be independent young woman out to fullfill her dream) and a must watch family movie.It is also a great movie date if you (young man) want to send a message of your respect to your loved ones as independent woman.
Verdict : a must watch with your (age appropriate) daughter