Enola Holmes | A Great Synergy of Writing, Acting, Directing and Everything in Between

It was only when the movie was annouced that I became aware of Enola Holmes. Although a newer character in the Sherlock Holmes mythology, I wasn’t phased by it because I’ve been pleasantly surprised by many versions of Sherlock, Watson, and Mycroft. Directed by Harry Bradbeer (Fleabag, Dickensian) and adapted by Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials) , this movie stars Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things, Wonderland) as the titular character, Helena Bonham Carter (Cinderella) as Mrs. Holmes, Henry Cavill (The Witcher) as the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and Sam Claflin (Mockingjay, The Riot Club; Love, Rosie) as Mycroft Holmes. The cast also features Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve), Adeel Akhtar (Les Misérables), Frances de la Tour (Outlander, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Louis Partridge (Paddington 2), Susan Wokoma (Truth Seekers) and Burn Gorman (Game of Thrones, The Expanse).

This offshoot featuring Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle‘s famous character comes from The Enola Holmes Mysteries a series of six books by Nancy Springer. So if this movie goes well there’s chance for film series. This movie is inspired by The Case of the Missing Marquessbook one of the series and it is set in 1884, England like Conan doyle’s Sherlock Holmes works.

Premise: After a free-spirited childhood, Enola Holmes – Sherlock’s teen sister – wakes on the morning of her 16th birthday and discovers her mother has disappeared, leaving behind an odd assortment of gifts but no apparent clue as to where she’s gone or why. Enola suddenly finds herself under the care of her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft, both set on sending her away to a finishing school for “proper” young ladies. Refusing to follow their wishes, Enola escapes to search for her mother in London. But her journey finds her entangled in a mystery surrounding a young runaway Lord. Enola becomes a super-sleuth in her own right, outwitting her famous brother as she unravels a conspiracy that threatens to set back the course of history.

Review: Giving that the books skew a little younger, I was curious to see how this movie would turn out. The ad campaign for Enola Holmes presented a beautiful and somewhat interesting film, and it very much is.

The run time made me flinch but Enola Holmes is delightful. It’s the easiest two hours of entertainment I’ve spent lately. I was engaged the whole time. The story is easy to follow, some might say too easy but since the books are geared toward children it makes sense to me that the mystery, well mysteries, around the film would also be accessible to a younger audience. The movie has good rhythm and gives the great collection of characters is has enough time to shine.

For a period piece, the diversity is better that what I would have guessed, it’s subtle but very effective. It’s not pandering and very much feels like they picked the right actors for these specific roles.

Speaking of actors, the cast is incredible, the movie is well cast. Like I said in my trailer reaction, Helena Bonham Carter tells you everything you need to know about her character with her casting alone. Obviously the movie gives you more, but I felt I understood who Enola’s mom was without needing an excessive amount of backstory. Sam Claflin and Henry Cavill make a great Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes, they work well as a pair and that’s particularly true for Cavill’s Sherlock. Millie Bobby Brown is perfect in the role, from the breaking of the forth wall to the actions scenes. She makes a compelling Enola, who is not afraid to use all the tools at her disposal, privilege included, to help. The movie goes full girl power but there is no role reversal for the love interest and Louis Partridge does a fantastic job, he’s great match with Brown.

The production design, the score, costumes, the directing, writing and acting compliment each other. It makes for a very entertaining movie that I wouldn’t mind rewatching, or see a follow up story, there are six books after all.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

The book:

Get it here

Wonder Woman | Review

This character has a lot of things going for it as far as I’m concerned. I’ve always like the idea of the Amazons, a group of badass female warriors, what’s not to like? And whenever I’ve watched a DC animated movie she was often a stand out. As for her portrayal by Gal Gadot, I might have been a bit worried when her casting was announced for two main reasons: one, I’d only ever seen her in sexpot roles so I didn’t know how useful of an actor she would be; the second one, she didn’t seem strong enough, even after pictures of her in costume came out. However I very much liked what they were going for with casting, between Gadot and Jason Momoa it was clear that there was some apt out of box thinking. I also liked what I saw of Gadot in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the trailers.
Directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster), this movie also stars Chris Pine (Into the Woods), Robin Wright (House of Cards), Danny Huston (The Constant Gardner), David Thewlis (The Theory of Everything), Connie Nielsen (The Following), Lucy Davis (Shaun of the Dead), Elena Anaya (The Infiltrator), and Saïd Taghmaoui (The Kite Runner).

Premise: When a pilot crashes on the secret island of Themyscira and tells the Amazons of the conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

Review: This movie is beautiful and classical looking in a way that works well with the superhero genre. The esthetic is there and it’s stunning, from the beaches of Themyscira to the trenches of World War I the cinematography is on point. There are also a lot of references to other movies in Wonder Woman that added to the experience, because whether you realized it or not these were familiar and iconic moments from cinema history mirrored in this movie in a newish none rip-off way. I was surprise at the comedy laced throughout the film. It was racier than I expected and well used.

Gal Gadot is so effortless in the role that it’s impressive, that doesn’t mean that the acting doesn’t falters at time. She’s not trying to be pretty in the film, she just is but that doesn’t take away from her skills. Often in action movies women are either pretty first than somewhat skilled or very Manish but there’s a nice middle ground here. Diana might have the pretty clothes and nice hair but she’s not afraid to get down and dirty. She sold the action. Chris Pine is also amazing in this movie, portraying a great character, and working in tandem with Gadot, which made their banter excellent.

As for the story, it is a little rushed and in need of tightening. The third act isn’t as smooth as the rest. They smartly gave the Amazonians a distinctive accent and esthetic yet I have no clear idea of their history. It was minimal. The same goes for what Diana’s powers are in the film. This could be explained away because Diana herself doesn’t know for sure, but there’s another character, who should at least have similar powers and know what they are but he didn’t seem to know either.
The odd thing about this movie is, as good as it is it has low re-watchability, in my opinion. Like books, I tend to re-watch scenes action or otherwise instead of watching the whole thing. The problem with this movie is that 90% of the film is so tightly woven that watching chunks of it doesn’t really work because the feelings, the pay offs are not the same. To feel the same level of excitement for a scene I like, I’d have to commit to the whole thing.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Trailer | The Legend of Tarzan

Reaction: This trailer reveals a little more of the story – even though we kind of know it already – it’s a little more action packed and entertaining than the first one was. I’m mostly interested because I want to see Skarsgard in this role, I think he’s more talented than he appears to be. I’m a little bit more excited about the film, what about you guys?

Harry Potter | and Getting into Reading

Like millions of kids around the world the Harry Potter book series are the books that really got me into reading.
I started late in the series since the fire HP book I read was the fourth one. At the time, my best friend Kaio had to force me to read the book and once I started I couldn’t put it down. I read number 3, 2 and 1 after that and ended up marking my calendar for the fifth book’s release date.
Throughout the series I always thought that there was more to professor Snape than what meets the eyes and I was crushed by book 6 and enjoyed book 7 because I knew I was right to keep having faith in him and the revelation about Professor Dumbledore was a nice touch.
These books may have thought me that loss is an important part of life even in an imaginary life.