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Enola Holmes 2 Review – Millie Bobby Brown stars in sequel better than the original

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A sequel that exceptionally improves on the original – Enola Holmes 2 surrounds a teenage detective, Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) who attempts to solve a case about a missing girl, not realizing that the case her brother has been struggling with is intertwined with her own.

The Story

Enola Holmes, Sherlock Holmes’s sister, originally was not part of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original series. The film is an adaptation of Nancy Springer’s seven-book series about the teenage detective. In the sequel, Enola Holmes follows in the footsteps of her older brother, Sherlock Holmes, and opens her own detective agency. Just as she is on the verge of giving up, she is approached by a young factory girl, Bessie who recruits her to find her missing sister, Sarah Chapman. As Enola explores the conditions of the working class in Victorian London, her brother grapples with a case of his own, associated with finances disappearing and reappearing in different banks leaving behind a trail. As the movie proceeds, the two bickering siblings cross paths again where they realize that their cases are connected.

Harry Bradbeer effectively portrays Enola and Sherlock as two gifted siblings. Their constant bickering and arguing appeal to the viewers as something rather familiar, and this coupled with the glimpses of care between the siblings highlights their familial love for each other. When Sherlock realizes that Enola has been attacked by shrewdly observing the redness on her neck, he momentarily pauses and then offers her protection. This protective instinct, and their agreement to keep in touch by meeting on “Thursday, 4 pm” is Bradbeer’s way of providing comedy through the arguing siblings without distracting from their familial bond.

The Trailer

The thriller is enthralling, where the shifts in scenes correspond to the musicality, perfectly setting the scene mystery movie while the music’s comedic charm aligns well with some of the comical scenes alluded to in the trailer. This is the second part of the two-part trailer, which was launched closer to the film’s release leaving fans at the edge of their seats with heightened anticipation.

Enola Holmes 2 Cast

Directed by Harry Bradbeer, the movie stars Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Holmes along with the following main cast:

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  • Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes
  • Louis Partridge as Viscount Tewkesbury
  • Helena Bonham Carter as Eudoria Holmes
  • Susan Wokoma as Edith
  • Adeel Akhtar as Lestrade
  • David Thewlis as Superintendent Grail
  • Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Ms. Troy
  • Hannah Dodd as Cicely
  • Abbie Hern as Maer
  • Serrana Su-Ling Bliss as Bessie Chapman

Release Date and Where To Watch

Enola Holmes 2 is now available to stream on Netflix and landed on the streaming platform on November 4, 2022, relieving fans of their wait since the premiere of the first movie in 2020.

Plot Review

The plot surrounds Enola’s investigation of Sarah Chapman, who steals some documents from the match-making factory which prides itself on switching from red matches to white two years ago. Coincidentally “Typhus” proved to be deathly infectious to these women laborers for two years. Bradbeer cleverly employs natural imagery, through the experiments done on plants and flies, to showcase the effects of the cheap phosphorous. These scenes recur during the movie as glimpses of Enola’s own recollections. Such scenes allow the viewers to easily engage with and follow along with Enola’s trail of thought, as not all of our minds are as gifted as Enola and Sherlock.

Enola Holmes 2 Review - Millie Bobby Brown Stars In A Sequel Better Than The Original
Credits: Netflix

The script is rather impressive, especially in its way of showcasing the bickering and the rather charming relationship between the two siblings, who despite their differences, undoubtedly work exceptionally well together. The production design flawlessly sets the scene for a Victorian England, and we are privy to it in several scenes, especially when Enola is seen escaping from Maer’s crime scene. The film, thus, focuses on Enola’s escape whilst inadvertently exposing the viewers to the rather artfully depicted surroundings.

Enola Holmes 2 Review - Millie Bobby Brown Stars In A Sequel Better Than The Original
Credits: Netflix

Throughout the movie, Bradbeer gives us flashbacks to Enola’s childhood, particularly her relationship with her mom, which is what allowed her to evolve as she did. The cinematography of connecting the past and the present through the rather contrasting colors and chiaroscuro during certain moments is rather creative in associating the two. This is especially apparent towards the end of the film when Enola battles Superintendent Grail, and recollects a contraption, she and her mother built perhaps, as she calculates how pulling the rope, would result in a series of reactions, eventually killing him.

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The flashbacks during the movie were only used as a ploy by Bradbeer to make Eudoria’s appearance in the present all the more endearing, as she helps Enola escape from prison, which Enola was falsely confined to for a crime she did not commit. It is conspicuous through her constant recollections of her mother, that Enola treasured their relationship, especially the lessons Eudoria taught her, and Bradbeer finally reuniting the two through her mother’s rescue is simply the icing on the cake for fans who have awaited this moment since the beginning of the film. Enola often breaks the fourth wall throughout the film, the most popular scene of which is also included in part one of the trailer, “perhaps I should explain,” and it is due to such nuances adopted by Bradbeer that the film remains not only engaging but a thrilling success on Netflix.

Enola Holmes 2 Ending Explained (Spoilers)

The movie concludes with Enola realizing that Sarah Chapman had been gathering evidence to frame the match-making factory for using cheap phosphorous, which was causing the deaths of several laborers, whilst the factory termed it “Typhus.” The film thrives in building up to Sarah Chapman’s speech, which is arguably one of the most enlightening scenes in the movie. Her speech propels the women laborers of the match-making factory to march out in unison in sheer protest for improved and more secure working conditions, which is a solid portrayal of the reason for the ‘Matchgirls’ Strike’ in 1888: “it only takes one little flame to light a fire.”

Sherlock’s case, however, involves a rather unusual twist, where Ms. Troy, a servant of the elites, was shockingly the mastermind behind the case that had been “vexing” Sherlock, where Ms. Troy declares how she is forced into being “treated like a common servant” when she has “twice the mind” of any of them. The film ceases to end its mystery however, and instead, the concluding scene consists of Sherlock reading a newspaper report of an escape of a “Master Criminal” who is “on the run:” Mira Troy, AKA Moriarty

The cliffhanger was a clever move by Bradbeer as he leaves fans curious, eager, and increasingly excited for the third movie to follow.

Enola Holmes 2 Review - Millie Bobby Brown Stars In A Sequel Better Than The Original
Credits: Netflix

Is Enola Holmes 2 based on a True Story?

The plot of Enola Holmes 2 surrounds The Matchgirls’ Strike of 1888. The film loosely depicts a true event that occurred in 1888, where women had to strike the Bryant and May east London factory in protest of the harsh and unrelenting working conditions that they were exposed to, let alone their excruciatingly meager pay. Sarah Chapman was a real person, but unlike the film portrayed, her part in the movement was not as large, though she was an active advocate of improving workers’ rights. The strike continued for several weeks until the Bryant and May executives had no choice but to succumb to public pressure and improve the working conditions.

According to Deadline, here is what Harry Bradbeer had to say:

We wanted to find a way that brought Enola into contact with a whole new world and range of young women and girls. And when we hit on the historical period, the idea of the matchgirls’ strike seemed to be a perfect way of telling a story about sisterhood and union and having the courage to stand up

Harry Bradbeer, Deadline

Enola Holmes 2 Reviews

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Enola Holmes 2 is a riveting movie, which is a rare sequel that improves on the original. It effectively combines mystery, crime, and drama without either of these elements being too distracting.

Reeva Faisal

First-Year Communications student at UC San Diego.

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