Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed on film and television more than any other literary character ever created, but the story about his sister Enola Holmes is more rarely told.
The Holmes name is instantly recognizable. You’d be hard-pressed, in this day and age, to find someone who has not heard of Sherlock Holmes, the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that first appeared in print back in 1887’s A Study in Scarlet.
The character became instantly popular and has been reproduced in countless short stories, full-length novels, feature films, series and mini-series to this day. Holmes’ fans are looking forward to the release of the Sherlock Holmes Chapter One video game, which is the latest part of a series of games based on Doyle’s stories. The popularity of the detective stories can even be seen in the iGaming industry where there are plenty of slot games inspired by Doyle’s work, such as “Sherlock of London” found on newcomer slot sites on the market like Mr.Play Casino. The Holmes hype is sure to continue with the An Enola Holmes Adventure game joining the plethora of titles inspired by the Holmes family.
To this point, though, Sherlock’s younger sister Enola, unfortunately, hasn’t been given her fair share of air time. The Netflix film is based on the Enola Holmes series of young adult novels penned by Nancy Springer between 2006 and 2010, but she is not as well-known as her brother.
That’s what makes the Netflix film such a breath of fresh air. It takes nothing away from Sherlock or the original stories but instead breathes new life into the world Doyle created by telling it from the perspective of a strong female protagonist.
The choice of Millie Bobby Brown to play Enola was a masterstroke, even if they probably had little choice in the matter. Brown rose to fame starring in another Netflix production, Stranger Things, and there were concerns about her ability to pull off another strong protagonist role without having similarities to her past performances.
At just 16 years of age, Brown shows off a wide range of acting ability that will have you on the edge of your seat from the opening minutes of the film.
Brown and her real-life sister Paige are producers of the movie after the latter read and fell in love with the novels it is based on, which is why Millie was almost certain to star as Enola from early on in the project.
The story is not too dissimilar from what you would expect from a traditional Sherlock Holmes story. Enola, after all, shares her brother’s intuition and brilliant mind for puzzle solving. However, it plays out in all new and entertaining ways thanks to the fresh perspective provided by Brown’s depiction of Enola Holmes. Sherlock is also a feature of the film and is played by none-other-than Henry Cavill, who does a fantastic job despite playing a secondary role.
In true Holmes style, the film was shot at some of the most elegant and beautiful country estates around England, including the 16th-century country house in Shropshire, Benthall Hall, which takes centre stage as Holmes’ family estate.
According to production designer Michael Carlin, the film crew had to do a bit of negotiating with estate staff to get the property perfect for filming. You see, in the movie, it is entirely overgrown by vines and plant life after being abandoned by Enola and her brother.
“The gardeners and the people taking care of the house at Benthall were brilliant in allowing the gardens to get really overgrown and letting us drape overgrown vines all over the exterior,” Carlin revealed.
There might be some that are put off by a Holmes detective mystery that isn’t headlined by Sherlock, but there shouldn’t be. The combination of Netflix, Millie Bobby Brown and director Harry Bradbeer has produced an entry worthy of the Holmes name in all respects.