Mary Poppins Returns but perhaps not with the right musical notes. The first Mary Poppins film which was turned into a major motion picture starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke as the pivotal characters. So obviously for Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda have some big shoes to fit themselves into. Did they do justice to the role? Were they able to recreate the magic of the old film? Were they able to do Julie and Dick Van Dyke proud with their rendition? Well, there are a lot of questions, the crux of which we will divulge into soon.
Starring Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack, the plot of the film brings back the famous tale of how a mystical Nanny with her special powers helped save the Banks family in London. The story is similar to the one that was cast back in the 1960s when the first film came out. A troubled family with kids being left to fend for themselves while the man of the house tries to make things work out. Mary Poppins spells her magic and shows kids what imagination and a slight pinch of incantation can do to make the world a whole lot better.
To an extent, the story does work out. It is simple and does not hold any deep or profound epiphany that would make the audience gasp in amazement. The idea is simple and the execution has a whole lot of Disney's phantasmagorical visuals. Having started with the visuals, let's discuss how that worked for the film. Honestly, Disney's visuals have always been the highlight of their films. So it is no surprise to learn that this film too rakes in high praises for its impeccable visuals. Certain sequences such as the Royal Doulton Bowl animation is a treat to the eyes. The life in abstract art has a string of commonality with the 1964 film where the kids entered Bert's painting.
This brings us to the next point, the one about how some of the scenes stand out. As mentioned, the Royal Doulton Party is one of the best parts of the film. Some of the other sequences include the dances by the lamplighters and the dive into the bathtub, to name a few. Emily Blunt makes Mary Poppins look the same and feel the same with her nonchalant nature. It is fun to watch her hop, skip and jump to the next scene and do the same with utmost ease.
What's best is that she has the King of Broadway Musicals, Lin-Manuel Miranda by her side to support all her quirks. Since he is the face of the successful Broadway show, Hamilton, Miranda brings in his charm on the big screen and mesmerises the audience with his simpleton acts while Miss Poppins shines. Their camaraderie is fun to watch.
However, now it is time to talk about the disappointing factors of the film. While the film has its moments to shine, they don't particularly leave an impact on the audience. Like I remember seeing quite a lot of critics let a subtle yawn escape their lips as they tried to avoid being caught. That's what's wrong with the film. The overall effect of the film does not make you laugh or cry or ponder over or hate. There are noo emotions felt or realised. Take some of the other musicals, for example, Les Miserables, A Star is Born, La La Land, these films make you think, they make you feel, they stay with you even after you've left the theatres. That's not the case with Mary Poppins.
Perhaps the songs were a bit of a stretch or maybe the purpose or conflict wasn't as interesting as one would've hoped.
- Emily Blunt as Marry Poppins
- Dick Van Dyke's subtle cameo
- The brilliant visuals by Disney
- Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack and his camaraderie with Miss Poppins
- Meryl Streep's cameo performance
- Boring and banal script with little to be excited about
- Too many songs with no impact on the audience
- Colin Firth's disappointing appearance
- Precocious kids, yeah they get on your nerves after a point of time
- Nothing memorable or worth remembering except perhaps the talented Emily Blunt
Don't really bother. Honestly. There are better musicals and Disney films that will be coming this year so don't start your year with this film.