Why Enola Holmes is the Feminist Film Much Needed in Our Times

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As I grew up, I watched movies about women who were always in trouble. A man came along to save the woman and eventually they escaped together. The woman was powerless and shy, the man was strong and could get the woman out of the situation because of his bravery.  21 years down the line, I finally watched the movie which I was waiting for: Enola Holmes. It is a Netflix Original. It is not just empowering to watch but it is a pure delight. The movie portrays gender equality. 

In the film, Enola Holmes (Millie Bobbie Brown), raised by a feminist mother grows to save a boy called Tewksbury (Louis Partridge). Tewksbury was going to get murdered by his family because of his family inheritance. Enola not only found a way to save him because of her bravery but she also solved the mystery and found the murderer. 

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Enola is a description of everything which people would find uncanny and unique in a character. She competes with the infamous Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill) to solve cases and even beats him at it. This shows her true wit and establishes that her thinking is even more refined than the sharpest detective of the country. 

Enola is not a woman who is searching for love. Instead, she is a woman who is searching for herself. This is made very clear in the film. Her journey begins in London as a naive woman who knows little about the world. It transforms to a story where Enola then learns more about herself and the ways of the world. She even ends up saving Tewksbury in a near death experience. The scenes are action filled as Enola knows jiu jitsu. 

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In all other Sherlock movies and series, it is evidently clear that Sherlock is the mastermind of the family. His sister Enola is left out of most narratives. The movie about Enola Holmes was much awaited to understand her character and role in the family better. In the Netflix Original, Enola Holmes, Sherlock does not have a major role. Though he is close to his sister, he is portrayed as someone who is still trying to break free from the shackles of patriarchal thinking himself. He tries to “protect” Enola. Minecroft (Sherlock and Enola’s brother) even enrols Enola in a finishing school and calls her his “Ward” (responsibility). His main aim is to get her married. However, Enola being the strong character that she is, does not budge. 

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In the film, it is made clear that she only goes to save Tewksbury because he would be killed without her. This helps to establish that it is the man who needs help from the woman, it is not the other way round. This Netflix original is something I would want my daughter to grow up watching. 

The powerful character that Enola’s mother (Helena Bonham Carter) is, sets an example that it is important for women to fight for the freedom and equality of women in general. Enola’s mother leaves her so that she can fight for the feminist movement. Though, she raises her own daughter to be a feminist, she thinks that it is not enough. It is important for her to create a more free environment for other women, to create a better world for her daughter to grow up in. 

Unlike how most other romantic movies end, Enola and Tewksbury do not get married at the end of the show. Instead, Enola is shown riding a cycle and exploring her own life in London. It is refreshing to see that the movie ends with the thought that Enola (Brown) is her own person with her private life. Her life is not fully intertwined with Tewksbury’s. She has her own independent life, goals and thinking. 

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Enola Holmes deserves to be a household name. She is the Cinderella of today’s age. We deserve more action filled, rational, thought provoking and independent characters like her. Enola Holmes is a much needed movie in today’s world. 

Vidhi Bubna is a contributor at SheThePeople.TV

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