“Enola Holmes 2” is an Exciting and Youthful Mystery


Alex Bailey/Netflix © 2022

“Enola Holmes 2” was a fun and captivating sequel with strong leads. (Courtesy of Instagram)

“Enola Holmes 2,” released at the end of October 2022 and directed by Harry Bradbeer, is a well-thought-out, fun and captivating mystery film. The sequel to “Enola Holmes” picks up right in the action; we follow curious and clever Enola, played by Millie Bobby Brown, as she navigates the journey to create a name for herself and find a place of her own as a young, female detective in Victorian England. 

I was excited to see that “Enola Holmes 2” carried the fun, lighthearted and exciting tone from the first film into the sequel, further exploring the characters and placing Enola in interesting and unique situations. Not only is the story captivating, but the cinematography is beautiful, with a smooth and warm quality that further enhances the film. 

Enola breaks the fourth wall throughout the film, speaking directly to the audience and looking at the camera. Breaking the fourth wall was also a prominent feature in “Fleabag,” a television series that Harry Bradbeer also helped direct. The film’s creators make this creative decision carefully and deliberately, avoiding muddling the effect by overusing it. It is done skillfully and occurs just enough in “Enola Holmes 2” to draw the audience in, making you feel as though you are solving the mystery with Enola and are part of her journey. We see the world from Enola’s perspective, hearing her internal dialogue through narration and feeling as though we are interacting with her through the screen. 

The portrayal of multiple strong female characters whose personalities and strengths differ and complement (or sometimes contradict) one another authentically shows the theme of female empowerment. Throughout the film, these multidimensional women are role models for Enola and display physical strength and intellectual courage to the audience of young women. Familiar characters Enola, her mother Eudoria and Edith display how there is not simply one way to be strong. 

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times from 2020, Brown shares, “There’s definitely very different perspectives throughout the film — philosophies of women from women. Enola has her own philosophy that she’s learning. How does she want to live her life?” These themes hold true in the sequel, growing and developing as Enola evolves. 

The first “Enola Holmes” film, and the character as a whole, is adapted from the young adult book series “The Enola Holmes Mysteries” by Nancy Springer. The book series’ young adult rating may be why this film could appeal more to younger audiences. Yet the sometimes slightly childish humor does add to the feeling of youth in the film, helping it appeal to a younger audience while still captivating older viewers with complex characters and a complex mystery.

Being a mystery film, the planning that goes into creating an exciting mystery within the storyline and then placing clues and hints about it that are subtle enough to be sewn throughout the film and then connected only later on is truly admirable. I did not feel like the clues were spoon-fed to the audience; instead, they were revealed deliberately, taking us through Enola’s thought process with interesting visual sequences. 

The storyline, great acting and cinematography create a balanced film, lending itself to humor, intrigue and an overall exciting tone. “Enola Holmes 2” is an exciting, heartfelt and empowering journey to witness.