Today we take a look at Enola Holmes 2, Starring Enola Holmes played by Millie Bobby Brown, Sherlock Holmes played by Henry Cavill, Superintendent Grail played by David Thewlis,
Viscount Tewksbury is played by Louis Partridge, Edith is played by Susan Wokoma, Eudora Holmes is played by Helena Bonham Carter, Inspector Lestrade is played by Adeel Akhtar, Miss Troy is played by Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Bessie is played by Serrana Su-LLing Bliss, Mae is played by Abbie Hern, and Sarah Chapman is played by Hannah Dodd.
The film series is based on the Enola Holmes Mysteries Book Series by Nancy Springer and follows Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister Enola Holmes, fresh off the triumph of solving her first case in Enola Holmes 1.
Now, Enola Holmes played by Millie Bobby Brown, follows in the footsteps of her famous brother, Sherlock played by Henry Cavill, and opens her own agency, only to find that life as a female detective-for-hire isn’t as easy as it seems.
For some, she’s too young and for others too fair, but her sense of justice helps her shine a spotlight on one girl’s case.
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When a penniless matchstick girl Bessie played by Serrana Su – Ling Bliss, offers Enola her first official job, to find her missing sister Sarah Chapman, she takes it.
There are advantages to Enola’s youth and gender. She can go undercover with Bessie as a new employee in the match factory where Sarah Chapman worked before she disappeared.
Potential clients may underestimate Enola, but so do the people she is investigating.
Most of the workers there are young women, many of whom are currently dying from the spread of typhus.
However, this case turns into a bigger conspiracy later down the line. In reality, it’s not typhus that’s killing the factory workers – it’s phosphorus, a new component being used in the making of the matches. The pages Sarah Chapman stole were records of all the workers who had died from this, and she intended to reveal the illegally poor working conditions to the public to gain justice for the victims.
At the end of the film, while the evidence isn’t made public, Sarah and Enola return to the factory and incite a strike.
The film’s main plot ends with all of the young women walking out, hopefully towards a better future. And if you’re watching closely, you will be shown a photo of the real woman this case is based on.
While the plot doesn’t exactly match the events of history, Sarah Chapman was a real person, and the film is based on the Matchgirls’ Strike of 1888.
The strike involved over a thousand women and girls who worked at the Bryant and May east London factory,
They were striking in order to protest incredibly poor working conditions, which included 14-hour work days and extremely low pay.
During this time, Sarah Chapman, who worked at the factory with her sister and mother, was only 19 when she joined the strike committee in order to reduce inequality among her co-workers.
She didn’t play quite as large a part as she does in Enola Holmes 2, but she, like everyone else striking, was a key player in improving worker’s rights.
The Matchgirls’ Strike of 1888 went on for a number of weeks until Bryant and May’s executives eventually caved into public pressure, and conditions were improved, which is implied to happen at the end of Enola Holmes 2.
I know a lot of fans will have this question in mind. DOES ENOLA END UP WITH TEWKSBURY IN ENOLA HOLMES 2?
Yes, Enola does end up with Tewksbury in Enola Holmes 2.
In the opening moments of the new film, it’s clear that Enola still has lingering feelings for Tewksbury but in an effort to stand on her own two feet, she tries to suppress her emotions about him.
The pair eventually bump into each other in a park while Tewksbury is commuting to the House of Lords and it quickly emerges that Enola has regularly visited the park to keep an eye out for the viscount.
Their paths cross again later in the film when Enola attends a ball in the hopes of questioning a man named William Lyon about her current investigation but in order to speak with him, she will have to dance with him – there is one slight problem, however, she can’t dance.
Luckily for Enola, Tewksbury is on hand to show her the ropes, and during their impromptu dance lesson, the spark between them is reignited.
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After getting herself into trouble with the police, Enola takes refuge with Tewksbury, and during this latest meeting, the pair finally admit their feelings for one another, in a typically awkward fashion, of course.
As Enola continues her investigation, Tewksbury accompanies her and proves to be a huge help in pointing both Enola and Sherlock in the right direction.
During a carriage ride to the theatre where the final showdown takes place, Enola and Tewksbury finally share a kiss after the viscount asked Enola to teach him how to fight.
After all of the case’s loose ends are tied up, the film ends with Tewksbury bringing Enola flowers before they take a stroll through London, arm in arm and joking about an upcoming ball that Tewksbury has been invited to.
However, through the investigation in Enola Holmes 2, the aspiring detective learns that having friends and allies can help her immensely, not only by offering emotional support but also to lend a hand in solving cases.
As she begins to learn this lesson, she allows herself to lower her guard with Tewksbury, resulting in them being able to express their feelings for one another at last.
This is even a message that Enola’s brother Sherlock learns during the film too as he agrees to consider taking on a potential flatmate to join him at 221B Baker Street.
And in a joyous mid-credits scene, Sherlock is introduced to Dr. John Watson, his long-time companion in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories.
Even though Enola winds up exploring the working-class world of Victorian London, which she’s wholly unfamiliar with.
Meanwhile, Sherlock also got stuck on a case of his own, which has to do with vast sums of money disappearing and reappearing in bank accounts all over London.
As Enola snoops further, she learns that her case ties into some of the more upper-crust residents of London and finds her path crossing her brother’s again.
While I won’t say he’s the best part of the film—that honor of course belongs to Enola and Brown’s performance as her—I will say that Henry Cavill’s expanded role as Sherlock Holmes is pure joy.
There is a love he brings to his character, that showcases his respect and admiration for the character.
While we have come to expect this from Cavill’s performances, there is a softness and care that he brings to this iteration of Holmes that shines even brighter than in the first film.
He’s a big brother, he’s smart, he’s messy, and we finally get to see the chaotic side of Sherlock that makes him all the more endearing.
Sherlock’s expanded place in the story yields more screen time for Cavill yes, and more importance to the narrative, but his stature also casts a shadow on Enola as she attempts to strike out on her own.
That said, Enola Holmes 2 manages to grant its lead character agency and purpose outside of her brother, even as their cases begin to intersect.
The bond between the two, and particularly the sibling chemistry between Cavill and Brown make their scenes and story a tight one with a lot of heart.
In fact, as we see the rest of the family, both Sherlock and her mother played by Helena Bonham Carter we can differentiate the strength that Enola brings to the table that only she can bring.
Sam Claflin, who played the duo’s oldest sibling Mycroft in the original film, did not make a return in the newly released follow- up with many fans wondering why.
Collider’s own Steven Weintraub had the chance to sit down with the film’s director Harry Bradbeer and asked about his exclusion.
While Claflin was unable to appear in this film, fans of the actor and the character will be happy to hear that he has an open invitation to return in the future.
Harry Bradbeer stated “Well, it was Sam’s schedule that became very clear, so Sam was not going to be in it…
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We were very sorry that Sam couldn’t be in this one. If there was a future one we would love to have him back.
But that was just the practicalities of life.
That then meant, though, that we had to then concentrate on Sherlock, which has some advantages in the sense that it becomes a sharp pencil if you like.
You are just having to work with that particular relationship. It had to be about Sherlock and Enola coming together.
“So I guess there are some blessings in having fewer pieces because you can do more with what you have.”
Bradbeer also made sure to put out the invite to Claflin to return in future entries in the series if possible,
saying that the team “absolutely love him, and we would love to have him again.
On top of amazing familial connections, Enola Holmes 2 also packs in the action and the intrigue.
While the crux of the story is about how small the world sees women and girls,
it hammers home the point that no matter how small those around you think you are, you can still bring change.
It’s a ripple effect in the story that starts as a personal goal for Enola to prove those who reduce her by her gender and age wrong and expands to the good trouble that young women can make. The beauty of these points is that while there is a lead of romance, it ends up becoming second to intelligence and mystery. But don’t worry, the romance that is there is well executed.
These larger themes are packaged in spot-on comedy, action, and compelling set design. This makes the film a fantastic and fun look at feminism, capitalism, and ultimately family, and it does it without berating its audience consistently. The only issue with the films is how many threads are being pulled at one time.
We see larger Sherlockian cornerstones revealed, and multiple large plots and the speed with which it all unravelled makes it hard to appreciate them all fully.
A rambunctious sequel with heart and a fight, Enola Holmes 2 manages to deliver on everything the first film did and more.
In fact, I’m ready for the game to find its feet a third time. Specifically, with that one final act reveal.
Enola Holmes 2 is streaming now, exclusively on Netflix.