Enola Holmes was a hit for Netflix late last year, winning praise and becoming one of 2020’s most talked-about films.
But, entertaining as it was, the cracks in its shiny veneer are beginning to show. Catholic Answers Live devoted a half-hour to make the lighthearted case for why it’s the “most evilest” movie ever. As deep as they went, the analysis was never as sardonic or short and to the point as it could’ve been.
If you were waiting on such a review, wait no longer, because a real pro of short, sweet, and sardonic (but thoughtful) takes – The Critical Drinker – finally gave Enola Holmes his attention, and he had a lot to say.
Drinker begins by asking the obvious rhetorical noodle-scratcher: did you ever wonder what the crafty Sherlock Holmes would’ve been like if he was a girl or had a spunky sister? “Nah, me neither,” he answers with a common refrain that only Netflix didn’t share.
Enter Enola, a clear retcon, in Drinker’s words, created to ride the coattails of her more famous brother. Still, is it any good? Free and “arsed enough” to watch it as life goes back to normal, he gave it a try, and the title of his video, Enola Holmes – Fanciful, Forgettable Fluff, should be a hint as to where he stands.
“Now a movie about a young female protege trying to escape her famous brother’s shadow and make a name for herself in Victorian England was always going to come with a fair amount of baggage,” says the Drinker. “And Enola Holmes is no different.”
He then digs at the movie’s attitudes toward anyone who was white, male, or upper-class. “Some of it’s understandable to set up a difficult environment for Enola to operate in, but pretty soon becomes obvious, tiresome, and repetitive,” the Drinker noted.
In regard to how Enola is always changing clothes with men to blend in and saying ‘bugger off’ to gender norms or any sense of responsibility, the Drinker groaned, “We get it, life is easier when you’re a man.”
He added that it only gets more farcical from there, as the audience learns that Enola is studying Jiu-jitsu at an underground dojo run by a black woman in nineteenth-century London. This, of course, in real English society of the time, would have been impossible.
Speaking to a scene where the black female sensei discusses gender and racial inequality with Enola’s played-by-Henry Cavill brother Sherlock Holmes, who otherwise stands in the background looking cool, the Drinker asserted that “The whole scene is out of a 2020 diversity seminar.”
Calling it contrived and forced, he added that the premise would work better if the movie didn’t have an Indian Scotland Yard chief, as talk of inequality loses its punch when you have a supposedly disenfranchised minority in such a high position of power.
His next complaint involves the reform school scene. Drinker lodges that Enola Holmes kills its pace when Mycroft sends Enola away to learn to be a proper lady in a subplot that “goes on forever” and tells us stuff we already know.
To Mister Drinker, Enola Holmes’ three meandering plot lines led the film to feel slow and ponderous, as he shared his belief that if the film had ditched at least one, then the rest of the production would have been much more streamline.
a porridge anachronistic “made-up crap” decades ahead of their time – from the suffragette movement to an automobile.
Describing the film as an anachronistic porridge of “made-up crap” drawing from concepts decades ahead of their time ranging from the suffragette movement to the automobile, the Drinker also took issue with how it was never explained why Enola’s mother, Eudoria, left her in the first place.
He found it baffling that the filmmakers left it at “she had to fight her own battles” and expected both the audience and Enola to just accept it.
“Enola herself is played as the love child of Hermione Granger and Malcolm in the Middle, constantly breaking the fourth wall,” the Drinker adds. ”It’s fun at first but it gets kind of overused and annoying after a while.”
Thankfully, the film shows respect to Sherlock, though Mycroft does gets the short end of the stick, being depicted as an insecure pain constantly breathing down Enola’s neck. Drinker notes it’s a shame, as Mycroft is so intelligent in the source material.
Oddly enough, that’s fitting given the Drinker’s verdict: Enola Holmes isn’t as sophisticated as it likes to think it is. In some ways, he explains, Enola is a Mary Sue guided by puzzles, not really figuring anything out in such a fashion that has the audience right there with her.
“There’s nothing here to get the audience thinking or keep them engaged,” said the Critical Drinker in his final assessment. “They are literally just watching a character going through a process only they understand, and stuff like this reinforces my belief that, once you strip away the flashy edits, the snarky 4th wall breaking, and the self-indulgent political pandering, Enola Holmes just isn’t that smart.”
“It truly is elementary, dear Watson,” the drinker remarked. Referencing its marketing campaign, the drinker then concluded that Enola Holmes would never measure up to her more famous male counterpart.
What do you make of the Critical Drinker’s review? Let us know whether you agree or disagree on social media or in the comments down below!