For a hardcore fan of the Sherlock Holmes series (the Benedict Cumberbatch one), any new content in the line of the Holmes franchise is a delight. Enola Holmes, in that regard, is an interesting spin-off shedding the limelight on Sherlock and Mycroft’s lesser talked about sister, Enola. Apparently Enola has inherited the same wits as Sherlock has but hadn’t had her worldly calling yet. The movie begins with her narrating her own story of being confined to her household castle with her incredible mother who managed to confine the wisdoms of the world in the castle for her anyway. Though she had never been out in the outside world, she hardly missed out on anything – her mother trained her from science to arts to self defence.
Her calling comes when her mother mysteriously disappears on Enola’s sixteenth birthday and she escapes her brothers in search of her mother. Following the intricate clues she had left, Enola ends up in London after a series of adventures with a young man who was on the run himself. The young man later turns out to be a calling custom designed for Enola to find her own place in the world which she successfully does through a number of elaborate moves and all ends well for the Holmes family.
The movie is interesting, mysterious, curious and aesthetic throughout. The cast clearly adds to the success of it, other than the already well established Sherlock Holmes plot. Other than everything that has been recognized as wonderful and not as great in the movie, what caught my attention the most is the reason Enola’s mother leaves their house- and the number of evidences Enola encounters to what her mission was. It was linked to the Feministic movement that had blanketed Europe at the time, and in the story, Enola’s mother along with a couple of other strong and radical characters, was a pioneer of the movement in rather outrageous ways.
Enola’s mother left her home and her daughter like she had always planned to because she wanted to create a world for her daughter where she had equal rights as men. She raised her daughter to fit into a world that she imagined for her, and not the one that existed around. And to accomplish that, she confined the wisdom of the world into her castle and trained her daughter day in and day out for sixteen years before she left. And when she left, she implemented her incredible (for women back then) knowledge of Science and designed a movement so dangerous that it demanded her to go incognito and remain in hiding, even from her own children. She and her comrades risked everything – left homes, children and risked being caught and shamed and even punished – all because they wanted to create a world where women had equal rights.
The lengths that these women of the time went to in order to create the world that we live in today are mostly unbelievable for us. What we so take for granted was gifted to us by these women who sacrificed everything and were prepared to give up what their lives constituted of, for the idea of a better world. Enola Holmes offers that window to the extents women went to and trained, protected themselves and had each others’ backs during the Feministic movement. That’s the clear highlight of Enola Holmes for me, and I love how she’s depicted as a young lady who discovers her own calling, follows it and ends up contributing heavily to her mother’s mission. Enola Holmes has used all the traditional elements of a successful movie – great cast, great plot and presented an important theme for the generation to get hold of. The kind of story and storytelling that we can completely get on board with!