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Enola Holmes 2 review: Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill's less complicated case makes the sequel better than the original

Enola Holmes 2 is a step forward in breaking down the patriarchy and making sense of how cruel the world is.

4/5rating
Enola Holmes 2 review: Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill's less complicated case makes the sequel better than the original
Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, and Louis Partridge in a still from Enola Holmes 2
  • Aishwarya Vasudevan

Last Updated: 12.29 PM, Nov 04, 2022

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Story:

After solving her first case, Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) decides to open her detective agency like her famous brother, Sherlock (Henry Cavill). But she soon finds out that being a female detective-for-hire isn't as easy as it seems at first. She is preparing to shut down her business after coming to terms with the harsh realities of life when a matchstick girl in need gives Enola her first real job: looking for her missing sister. But when Enola is thrown into a dangerous new world that includes 221B Baker Street, London's dirty factories, and live music halls, this case turns out to be much more complicated than anyone thought. Enola needs the help of her friends and Sherlock to figure out what's going on because a dangerous plot is starting to take shape. It appears that the game has recovered its footing.

Review:

Four years after bursting on screen as Eleven in Stranger Things, Millie Bobby Brown took up the charge of being an amateur detective named Enola Holmes in the Netflix film. Like her series, the first instalment of the detective film had much more complications than expected. However, it left an impressive mark on how to smash the patriarchy with a badass teenage girl with a brain. Two years later, she started her detective agency, stepping out of the shadow of her famous brother, Sherlock Holmes. Will she survive in the mean man's world? Let's find out...

This time, Enola gets a case that is far more empowering and important than she could have expected. The film series is just getting better, and Brown is proving that the character is tailor-made for her. In the first film, we saw that she had been raised well by a single mother, Eudoria Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter), although in mysterious circumstances. But that didn't stop her from facing the world and even saving it the best she could. The sophomore film continues to show her as a great decipherer just like her brother Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill), and seeing them being shoulder-to-shoulder with each other defines feminism that the world is still trying to accept even now.

After she opens her detective agency, Enola hears, "You're a girl!" like an insult thrown at her. Although she wants to maintain the never-give-up attitude, she almost does, until a match girl walks in and gives her the case. Enola is still a teenage girl who is homeschooled well enough to know the brutality of the world. That very reason gives her a purpose to take up the case, which is a "loose thread," at every step possible.

Harry Bradbeer directed the sequel to Enola Holmes because he knows how to tell stories about women in the best way possible. He worked with the best Jack Thorne again on the screenplay, and the second part was a lot meatier, less complicated, and more groundbreaking than the first.

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Back in 1888, there was a matchgirls' strike that took place in London. The film puts a great narrative spin on this important revolution, which, as mentioned earlier, smashed the patriarchy. Poor working conditions in the match factory, such as fourteen-hour workdays, low pay, high fines, and serious health risks from working with allotropes of white phosphorus, which caused phosphorus necrosis, also called phosphorimus chronicus or phossy jaw led to the strike. It began when one of the workers was fired.

Although Enola wants to be even further away from the shadow of Sherlock, her individuality is uplifted by her brother, and they just happen to cross paths at every interval in the film. Well, Enola can't be Dr. John Watson to her brother Sherlock; that place is only reserved for him. Again, their big project together looks great, which makes me wonder why she wasn't a bigger part of popular culture sooner.

Nevertheless, maybe we were waiting for the right cast, which was found in Millie Bobby Brown. The actor brings her wit and charm to the sequel and has matured well enough as an actor. Brown has also done a good job of putting on screen things like how she deciphers like Sherlock and how she plays with her eyebrows like her mother Eudoria. The actor's subtlety and sly naughtiness as the titular character make her the right choice. She continues with her piece to the camera, and at one point in time, it seems like we are interacting with Enola.

Cavill as Sherlock has more to offer in this film, and this time we see the major hints of the high-functioning sociopath that has been missing in the 2020 film. He is roped in to show that both siblings are two sides of the same coin, and there are many sequences as proof. I was hoping for a long scene, especially when they were trying to figure out a death scene together. I am almost there in accepting Cavill as Sherlock, and this film, of course, has a larger part to play.

I wish there was more of Helena Bonham Carter in this film if any because her mere presence is just enough to get me hooked on the screen. Every word and even throwing fireworks casually are like pearls of wisdom. The trio of Brown, Cavill, and Carter is all we need to see together in the same frame.

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Other actors, like David Thewlis as Superintendent Grail, Louis Partridge as Lord Viscount Tewkesbury, Hannah Dodd as Sarah Chapman, and Adeel Akhtar as Lestrade, give the sequel a better new feel and make it easier to watch.

As mentioned earlier, the best part of Enola Holmes 2 and why it's better than the first film is the less complication of the case. The linear format and deciphering make it less Nolanesque, which the 2020 one tried to be in a way.

Verdict:

Finally, there's one title I watched that I would recommend people catch up on. The siblings' collaboration between Enola Holmes and Sherlock Holmes has just gotten better, and we can't wait to watch more.

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