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FILM OF THE WEEK Elementary, dear brother

MARIA DUARTE sees Sherlock Holmes's sister prove more than a match for her illustrious sibling as she solves the mystery of their disappeared mother

Enola Holmes (12)
Directed by Harry Bradbeer

THE MALE-DOMINATED and misogynistic world of Sherlock Holmes is given a feminist kick in the proverbials in this fun-loving and action-packed adventure.

It centres on his younger sister Enola, another budding super sleuth, who's the central character of Nancy Springer’s series of mystery novels on which the film is based.

Set in 1884, against the backdrop of the dawn of women’s suffrage and at a time when social change in Britain was gathering speed, it stars Millie Bobby Brown as Enola. On her 16th birthday, she wakes to discover that her mother (Helena Bonham Carter) has disappeared, leaving behind her some  puzzling clues.

Older brothers Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and the sexist Mycroft (Sam Claflin) want to send her to a finishing school for ladies, in Mycroft’s case so he can marry her off. “I don’t want a husband” she tells him. “That’s another thing you have to have educated out of you,” he replies.

Brown is perfect as the smart, free-spirited and clever Enola, who is as sharp as her brothers and who has been taught science, cryptology and martial arts by her free-thinking and eccentric mum in a bid to equip her for life.

She carries the film superbly and holds her own wonderfully opposite Cavill, Claflin and Bonham Carter, all on superb form.

With constant asides to the audience, Enola proves to be a resourceful young woman and no damsel in distress as she comes to the rescue of the young runaway Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge) several times on her mission to find her mum.

Playwright Jack Thorne’s screenplay is witty and clever and Harry Bradbeer’s debut feature is an enlightening exploration of gender inequality and social and class injustice within the confines of a mystery adventure and family drama.

Doubtless the producers hope this could be the beginning of another lucrative teenage franchise.

Available on Netflix.

 

 

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