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Murder, Mystery, and Machinations: Enola Holmes 2

November 28, 2022

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I fell in love with the character of Enola Holmes years ago. When I discovered the slim volumes on the library shelf that combined mysteries with the Victorian Era and had a female detective, I immediately took them home and read all six. The combination of classic mysteries solved through amazing deduction skills, a heroine who was the sister of Sherlock Holmes and was consistently outwitting London’s best consulting detective, and Victorian-Era codes and ciphers sent through hidden languages had me hooked from the beginning.

Two years ago, when the first Enola Holmes was released, I eagerly watched Enola act out scenes that I had originally only seen in my imagination. When I heard that there was going to be a sequel, I eagerly started counting down the days until Nov. 4. That evening, after I had finished my homework and had dinner, I started the movie and was entranced from the opening scene.

Enola Holmes 2 starts as all the best stories do: in the middle of a frantic chase throughout the slums of Victorian-Era London. Enola (played by Millie Bobby Brown) is being chased down a dead-end alley and appears to be trapped before she turns to the camera and states, “Perhaps I should explain,” she says, before sending the viewers back to the start of the story. Fourth-wall breaks such as this are hallmarks of the Enola Holmes movies and as such, are perfect callbacks to the first movie.

Enola’s confidential interactions with the audience are not only theatrical idiosyncrasies; they help engage the audience and connect them to the story. By directly speaking to the audience, Enola makes the viewer an integral part of the story and creates a relationship that makes the audience even more invested in the story being told. The story told in Enola Holmes 2 is worth the investment.

Enola is trying to start her own detective agency, but finds herself hampered by the fact that she is a young female in male-dominated field during a time when women are supposed to stay at home and are definitely not consulting detectives. She is also overshadowed by her much more famous brother, Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavil). These misfortunes combine to almost put Enola out of business, and she is on the brink of closing up shop when a young girl comes in and asks if Enola could look for her sister, who went missing recently. This simple request puts Enola on a trail that leads from one missing person to corruption in a major industry.

While on the case, Enola runs into her mother, Eudoria Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter), who has been causing chaos across England in the name of progress. Eudoria is not in the movie for long, but during the time that she is, she passes on valuable information to Enola, both about the case and about life in general. Then she leaves Enola to make her way back to London, where she has an unusual ally.

During her first case, Enola had made the acquaintance of Lord Tewksbury, Marquess of Basilwether (Louis Partridge). The two of them had shared adventures and near-death experiences before Tewksbury took his place in the House of Lords (the British governing body) and started his reform campaign. While he tries to reform the government, he is also falling in love with Enola, as evidenced by the longing looks and over-the-shoulder glances that can be seen everywhere, even in the trailers.

I thoroughly enjoyed Enola Holmes 2, although it is definitely for upper middle school students and older. There is a fighting scene that ends with someone dying rather violently, although the exact death is out of frame and only noises can be heard. It is similar to the climax of the first Enola Holmes in terms of violence, but I would not advise it for younger audiences. Additionally, there is a scene where someone is found dead with the weapon still in the body. The blood in this scene combined with the final fight scene makes this movie definitely in the PG-13 arena. There are also subtle messages that might not be picked up and appreciated by a younger audience.

Enola Holmes 2 is a murder mystery with a star-studded cast, gripping plot, and unexpected humor. It is perfect for a few hours of escapism into the world of Sherlock and Enola Holmes, sibling detectives in Victorian London. If you want an unapologetically feminist movie with explosions, romance and intrigue, then Enola Holmes 2 is definitely for you.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Kessler Potter
Kessler Potter, Journalist

Kessler is in 11th grade, this is her first year in Journalism. She is on the golf and speech team. In her free time, she enjoys reading or playing games...

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