Enola Holmes 2 finds mystery in history


Noor Fatima

After the release of Enola Holmes in 2020, Netflix has already followed with a sequel by the name of Enola Holmes 2. The Sidekick staff writer Saniya Koppikar channels in to determine if the film holds a flame to its predecessor, or perhaps burns even brighter. Graphic by Noor Fatima

Saniya Koppikar, Entertainment Editor

Red hair, green dress, makeup, science books, 12th March.  

The game was afoot: me, bundled up in a blanket on a Friday night, the titular Enola Holmes  (Millie Bobby Brown) poking around a seedy apartment for clues to the whereabouts of the missing Sarah Chapman (Hannah Dodd) and the both of us about to be drawn into the entrancing mystery of the London matchgirls. 

I stumbled upon Enola Holmes 2 by accident, having had no idea that 2020’s Enola Holmes, the movie rendition of The Enola Holmes Mysteries book series, was adding another installment. 

Even two years later, I recalled the soaring soundtrack and intrigue of the first movie. I hoped I wouldn’t be disappointed with its sequel. 

Starting off with a bang, the movie opens on Enola being chased by the police through the streets of London. I expected nothing less, especially concerning the action throughout the movie. With Enola climbing drain pipes and roofs, fighting corrupt politicians in the catwalks of the Paragon Theatre, and breaking out of prison with the help of radical suffragettes, there is no shortage of excitement throughout the film. 

Even so, I appreciate the movie’s utilization of quiet shock. My favorite thing a film can do is make its audience sit back in astonishment. 

With innocent reassurance from Bessie (Serrana Su-Ling Bliss) (That’s the phosphorus. Don’t worry, you get used to the smell), courtly guidance from Mira Troy (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) (It’s remarkable what can be done when people underestimate you) and motherly redirection from Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) (You need to look for what she knows, Enola. Find that out, and everything else will follow. She’s probably under your nose), the mystery forms in a thoroughly satisfying manner. 

Rather than relying on a jumpscare or obvious twist, clues are laid throughout the story and consolidated in a moment of speechless realization as our protagonists uncover the deadly effect of phosphorus on the matchgirls and Sarah/Cicely’s mission to make the injustice public knowledge. I was certainly astonished, and I’ve always prided myself on being able to predict movies. 

Also masterfully done is the characterization throughout the film. Though a number of new characters were introduced, I was never confused as to their backgrounds. Sarah Chapman’s backstory with Mae (Abbie Hern) and Bessie, as well as her affair with William Lyon (Gabriel Tierney), are gripping and easy to follow. Recurring characters from the first film, such as Eudoria, Edith (Susana Wokoma), Lord Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Enola herself, are carried into the darker atmosphere of the sequel well, revitalizing their senses of humor and respective intelligence. 

More importantly, none of them feel stagnant: Tewkesbury’s desire to create positive political change is found in his involvement with Parliament and his relative weakness is resolved in his learning how to fight; Enola’s and Sherlock’s stubbornness and respective desires for individuality are enhanced with their acceptance of help from each other; the matchgirls overcame the fear and complacency that is keeping them at the hazardous match factory. 

Enola Holmes 2 is a great second installment of this series––everything a sequel should be. With the appearance of the famous Doctor John Watson (Himesh Patel) as Sherlock’s hopeful flatmate at the end of the movie (complete with a Bond-style Watson, John Watson), I cannot be more excited for this reimagining of Arthur Conan Doyle’s lore as the series continues. 

Follow Saniya (@SaniyaKoppikar) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.