Enola Holmes2: An Entertaining Sequel
After watching Enola Holmes 2, it is clear that the makers actually took viewer feedback seriously and contoured the character of Enola as well as the plot to adhere to the feedback.
Somehow, I believe that Enola Holmes2 is better than Part one. You get to see a mature Millie Bobby Brown, vastly different from the persona and look she sported in Stranger Things. The girl looks pretty and personable but has a rapier sharp brain that impresses the viewer. Based on Nancy Springer's bestselling book series The Enola Holmes Mysteries, the film reunites the creative team of Enola Holmes, with director Harry Bradbeer and screenwriter Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials) returning for another run. Harry Bradbeer’s (known for Killing Eve and Fleabag) efforts in adapting a young-adult novel by Nancy Springer go beyond merely supporting Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Enola's older brother, Sherlock Holmes as in Enola Holmes 1. After watching Enola Holmes 2, it is clear that the makers actually took viewer feedback seriously and contoured the character of Enola as well as the plot to adhere to the feedback.
The first part was quite good as one gets to see Millie Bobby Brown get into real action. Millie Bobby Brown seems to be the perfect choice for the role as she can perfectly capture the action in the scene and can also charm despite the typical (if somewhat stereotyped) teenage impulsiveness. However, the shadow of her older more celebrated brother is overpowering, and Enola looks and feels like a bit of a pygmy when juxtaposed with Sherlock (Henry Cavill). But in Enola Holmes 2 we have a young woman to reckon with and one who measures up to the stature of her older brother. She opens up her own agency and discovers that life as a female detective for hire is not easy as it seems. The audience finds that the people of England treat women as suspects rather than detectives. Enola's latest case is also about a missing person. The common answers to her questions are, “How old are you?”, “But you are a girl!”, “Am I addressing the secretary?”, and finally “Where is Sherlock?” The next scene we see is Enola getting the paint scraped off from the door of her office. It is sad that the person who hired Enola to investigate this crime is Sarah's sister Bessie (Serrana Su-Ling Bliss), herself a penniless match-factory worker. But the more the trials, the more strongly Enola’s character is etched.
The latter part of the story is inspired by the London 1888 Match strike. This time, it's about Sarah Chapman (Hannah Dodd), a young woman who worked at a big match factory during the day and a dance hall at night. Enola starts to think that Sarah's disappearance had something to do with bad things going on at the match factory as soon as she goes undercover into the crowded, typhoid-ridden warehouse where she works on the assembly line.
There are, however, too many subplots; and everything falls apart. We have Helena Bonham Carter as Enola’s mother, but her role is not as prominent as there are newcomers here the viewer’s focus shifts to Louis Patridge and Hannah Dodd. Characters like Grail played by David Thewlis brings a nice presence in the film even though the trajectory of his character is fairly obvious but when he is onscreen, one doesn’t mind it as it is entertaining. I also loved Helena Bonham Carter who taught Enola various tricks and the brand of ‘feminism’ is quite apparent here.
Now talking about entertainment, there are action scenes that are funny; Enola Homes is really committed to the emotional side of the role. There is a carriage chase in the middle of the film, a little drawn out but very entertaining. Then there is an extended fight scene at the end, which is the bright spot of the film. It can also be called ‘a coming of age’ movie as Enola leans to be an adult and learns to handle things that are or are not presented to her in a way she expects. And being with her throughout this journey is the fun part of this film.
Enola Holmes 2 is a bit of a mixed bag. The performances are good, the characters are entertaining, and the viewer happily goes with the narrative flow. The movie is also what I might call ‘Gen Z type’ (for want of a better word) as Enola gets to do what she likes. However, the twists and turns are quite apparent, and the resolution too pat. The writing seems to be a bit lazy, as Enola Holmes goes to a lot of places, and people appear conveniently. There is a theatre scene in the movie in which the characters appear automatically, and the different pieces of puzzle seem to fall into place automatically, filling all the holes in the plot quite easily.
I would rate the film as an 8 out of 10, essentially on basis of performances by Millie Bobby Brown and David Thewlis. Millie Bobby Brown's superb comic timing and frantic energy make her the ideal candidate for the role of Sherlock’s independent sister.