Sharanya Misra

The glaring misogyny is repulsive, and yet a shocking realisation of the times women have been through to get even basic rights. What lengths they had to go to so we could be here today.

Enola Holmes, the movie, an adaptation of Nancy Springer’s mystery novels, is now streaming on Netflix. Enola, sister of world famous detective Sherlock Holmes, is out in the real world looking for her missing mother. But that is no piece of cake as Eudoria Holmes is a master at word play and a spirited fighter who is intent on staying away, no one knows why. There is also the problem of her brother, Mycroft Holmes, who must make a ‘well behaved lady’ out of his wild sister. And finally, the case of the missing Viscount that Enola cannot help getting entangled in.

The movie in itself is not the best it could have been. Millie Bobby Brown as Enola and Helena Bonham Carter as Eudoria give noteworthy performances, but everything else is quite meh. The adventure of the missing Viscount too isn’t challenging enough and doesn’t capture your imagination the way a Sherlock case would have done.

BUT. The movie wins me over for other reasons.

Imagine a life where you are told how you must dress, how you must eat, how you must walk, talk, or even exist. Imagine being reduced to a mere enabler for your spouse with no identity of your own. Imagine speaking, but not with a voice that matters, not at home and not in the political sphere. This is the world Enola Holmes lives in. And this is the world she is out to defy.

I loved that Eudoria Holmes thinks it important to train her daugher in using her mind and skills, and even in combat, rather than teaching her not to slurp her soup or to tighten her corset enough to stop her breath as long as her waist reduces and hips pop out.

A feminist parent raises strong and just children.

I loved that Enola never gives up fighting for the right to choose her own path.

The movie had me breathing fumes. Any feminist would feel the same. So Sherlock Holmes could be a world famous detective but his sister, an equally gifted genius, must rather be ‘ladylike’ so she can be a suitable wife. Because how preposterous to think a girl could be a successful sleuth too.

The glaring misogyny is repulsive, and at the same time a shocking realisation of the times women have been through to get even basic rights.

Enola Holmes is a must watch for everyone of us to remember the world we had a few decades ago (and still do in many places). And to understand why we need feminism. It reminds us to be grateful to the many strong women who were committing blasphemy just imagining a changed world. What lengths they had to go to so we could be here today.

If today’s flawed world is in reality a world of their dreams, imagine what lives they led.

Feminism today has become a taboo term. Being associated with it makes you an outcast in social circles, so to say. To all those who question the need for this movement, watch this movie and enlighten yourself. See for yourself where women were, and still are, unjustly in the eyes (feet?) of society.

Enola Holmes, the movie, is hard hitting, mincing no truths, and yet inspiring because you realise that no matter how much the world suppresses, there will always be those few who rise above and fight for what’s right, and do what must be done. As Eudoria Holmes said,

I couldn’t bear for this world be your future. So I had to fight. You have to make some noise if you want to be heard.

I know I fight for my child’s future. I MAKE NOISE. Do you?

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