The whimsical adventure feature film of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes’ teenage sister Enola Holmes is about the life of the titular young teenage girl and her pursuit for her mother Eudoria Holmes who disappeared at once.
Her advent search entangles with a runaway young lord. The entire narrative is based on Nancy Springer’s book series The Enola Holmes Mysteries, a feminist retort to male-dominant stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales of Sherlock Holmes. More than the entertainment, this film has many insights into feminism. However, this feature cannot be isolated from the celluloid of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.
A mother’s struggle to shield her daughter’s upbringing from the patriarchy and structured inequalities of the outside world is shown. At the same time, Enola Holmes manages to be a good detective and a stereotype breaker. The magnificent teaching methods of Eudoria in learning physical tasks like Jiu-Jitsu, Bow and arrow along with reading literature, History, Science, Chemistry and most importantly mental games like Chess and jumbled letters.
Her name ‘Enola’ explains that a woman alone is enough to work on her own. Proving that a girl is free to do anything.
Eudoria Holmes’ most valued privacy and foreseeing of the future world explains the strength a female could have. I cannot ignore the fact that how a son is very much uninterested in the freedom of women rather supporting the systematic stereotype thought of women meant to impress the opposite gender.
Mansplaining the dignity of a woman and the duties of a woman rearing a child by the very own son of a mother, by calling a free-spirited woman and her child while being her own son. Somehow, she has set an example to mother a child and gear up their abilities for the future.
Another interesting character, Edith Grayton, a friend of Eudoria and determined to achieve the change by means of being self-reliant and teaching martial arts to other like-minded young women for the complot to fight against the oppression of women and the disaster ought to come during the Reform bill of 1884 in the UK. The movie also shows Ms Harrison, an educator herself grooms young girls with corsets and hip risers to please and marry men to fit into society.
The patriarchal rule by son after father, even by dominating his mother is noticed. Sherlock’s uninterested stand in emotions and society but curiosity, Mycroft’s conditioned and compulsive authority over his sister made Eudoria to prepare her daughter for the damage the outside world is going to do. Every scene appreciates the double standards of polite society sarcastically like the corset- a symbol of repression to those who are forced to wear it, how mean and wicked the civilized people are to the newcomers.
This movie also shows how a mother lives off her dream and lets her daughter live the life she wanted and reminds her to be excited but not disappointed for what is coming. Not involving in nature’s course leaving whatever happens in life it is the art you relieve yourself is a bit contentious. The narrative of the movie moves from the dialogue ‘Perhaps she wants to change the world’ to ‘perhaps the world needs changing’ is the point we are stuck with.