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Enola Holmes Star Has Some Interesting Words About The Film

There's an excellent chance that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would have hated Netflix's Enola Holmes, and that thought delights star Helena Bonham Carter. In the movie, the two-time Oscar nominee plays Eudoria, the mother of Sherlock (Henry Cavill), Mycroft (Sam Claflin), and Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown). For her part, Eudoria instills in her daughter the same sense of adventure and curiosity that her famous son possesses. That feminist energy is what drew Bonham Carter to the role, and inspired her to speak out about what the fictional Sherlock would likely have thought about being given a precocious, mystery-solving teenage sister.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bonham Carter shared that her agent originally wanted her to turn the role down, but for the actress, the role of Eudoria, although small, was just too good to pass up. "The unknown sister — I just loved the idea of it," the actress told EW. "It's actually funny, because Sherlock himself is quite misogynistic, the original Sherlock. So it's like a 'f*** you,' but you can't say 'f*** you' to Sherlock."

The unapologetic deconstruction of the Sherlock canon in Enola Holmes adds a fresh energy to the consulting detective's story, and puts the spotlight on just how invisible women could feel in the 19th century (and now). After all, the movie puts forward the idea that Sherlock's genius is a result of his exceedingly clever mother who encourages her children to ignore societal norms. Although her disappearance leaves her to play the role of the literal "invisible woman" throughout much of the film, Eudoria's influence on all of her children is the driving force of the plot.

Helena Bonham Carter is proud of the way Enola Holmes eschews period movie tropes

By freeing itself from the conventional period drama tropes, as well as any fealty to the Sherlock Holmes tales, Enola Holmes becomes a wild ode to the power of women to get things done, even when faced with societal roadblocks. "The whole pace of this film is not very period, what we think of period," Bonham Carter said. "It's got an energy and a dynamism to it."

That energy extends to mother-daughter jujitsu lessons between Enola and Eudoria, and to Enola leaving the sanctuary of learning in which she grew up to find her mother. In a separate EW interview, Brown discussed how, at its heart, the film is truly about equality above all else — an equality for which Enola can only fight if she embarks on her journey without the assistance of her brothers. "We bring a certain sense of positivity and humor to it, but at the end of the day, [the film] is centered around equality," she explained. "What they call [Enola] in the film is a 'wild child,' but really, she's just fighting for her rights. The film is based upon these pretty traditional men — and these wild women."

And Bonham Carter wouldn't have it any other way. Even though she told EW that she is a fan of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, she couldn't help but take deep pleasure in the thought of offending the iconic character's old-fashioned sensibilities. Enola Holmes joyfully rips away Sherlock's role as the hero of his own story, and according to Bonham Carter, the result is a movie that's a "real tonic" to the nightmare that is 2020.