‘Enola Holmes’ Brings a ‘Feminist, Political & Exciting’ Adventure to Netflix
You’ve heard of Sherlock Holmes, and his brother Mycroft, but have you ever heard of Enola? In Netflix’s upcoming family flick Enola Holmes, based on the original character from Nancy Springer’s 2006–10 young adult book series, Stranger Things‘ Millie Bobby Brown stars as the sleuth’s sister, a fourth-wall-breaking teenager on a hunt for their missing mum (Harry Potter vet Helena Bonham Carter) in 19th-century England.
Unfortunately, Enola’s untraditional homeschooling doled out by her eccentric mother, which involves living room tennis matches and devouring every tome on the Holmes estate—but certainly not etiquette—causes conflict between Enola and her brothers, self-righteous Mycroft (Sam Claflin) and already-famous mystery-solver Sherlock (Henry Cavill), whom she initially taps for help in the missing persons’ case.
But Enola, “a spirited, challenging individual crashing her way through life,” according to director Harry Bradbeer (who also helmed critical darling Fleabag), goes off on her own quest for answers.
Speaking of Fleabag, Bradbeer finds both of the fourth-wall-breaking women to have similar traits, despite the obvious age difference. “I’m really drawn to these stories of irreverent [people],” he notes. “There’s also something quite contemporary about Enola—a punk element—with the way that she addresses the camera.”
Bradbeer also praises Brown’s skills (though she has admitted that she had trouble speaking in her normal, British accent after playing American-speaking roles), which led to onscreen revelations. “Her instincts are quick as a flash,” he notes while recalling underwater and chase scenes in the flick’s action sequences. “She registers an idea and she goes for it, and she’ll give it all she’s got.”
It can’t hurt that Brown got to act alongside an action star like Cavill (most recently lauded for his turn as the title character in Netflix’s The Witcher series). But Cavill’s Sherlock is different from Robert Downey, Jr.’s strategizing detective and Benedict Cumberbatch’s reserved take. “Henry feels like a big brother,” Bradbeer says. “He brought gravitas and warmth, and also surprise, which I love in his interpretation. I don’t think we’ve seen that in a Sherlock at all.”
Throughout her journey, Enola finds herself saving a young aristocrat and “ends up changing the course of history,” he says, noting that the heroine finds herself caught up in the Great Reform Act. “It’s an adventure that’s feminist, political, and exciting,” Bradbeer teases. “And it’s not like any period drama you’ve seen before!”
Enola Holmes, Movie Premiere, Wednesday, Sept. 23, Netflix