Mary Poppins Returns (2018) | Film Review

Title: Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Screenplay by: David Magee
Story by: David Magee, Rob Marshall, John DeLuca
Based on: Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
Starring: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep
Music by: Marc Shaiman
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Running Time: 130 minutes
Language: English
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild thematic elements and brief action
Production Companies: Walt Disney Pictures, Lucamar Productions, Marc Platt Productions
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael’s children through a difficult time in their lives.

One of the most anticipated films last year that I wanted to see is Mary Poppins Returns. First, because the iconic Mary Poppins is played by Emily Blunt, one of my favourite actresses. Second, the first film is kind of phenomenal and people love it so much. I watch the first film, Mary Poppins (1964) and I kind of understand why people love the film so much. It is unique and unlike any others. I know I am supposed to write this post before Captain Marvel (2019), but please accept my apology. Let’s talk about the film.

Mary Poppins Returns to be said a sequel from the first film. It kind of is but to me, it looks like a remake as well. Mary Poppins is back to take care of the Banks children. Michael and Jane Banks are now adults. Michael has three children, which happened to be Jane’s nephew and niece. We also have Jack, who is supposed to be Bert’s apprentice. In my opinion, Jack is just another version of Bert. So please don’t get mad at me when I said this sequel is actually a remake. There are some new elements but overall, Mary Poppins Returns is a good and fun film to watch.

Jane Banks: What brings you here after all this time?
Mary Poppins: Same thing that brought me the first time: I’ve come to look after the Banks children.
Anabel Banks: *Us*?
Mary Poppins: Oh yes, you, too.

I have not watched the first film of Mary Poppins when Emily Blunt was announced as the new Mary Poppins, replacing Julie Andrews. I did not expect anything from her but I know she would be great. There’s a reason why she is one of my favourite actresses. Emily Blunt is a great actress and she can pull off any roles that have been given to her. I was right. She did great as Mary Poppins. I will not compare her with Julie Andrews because it seems not fair. But if I have to, I will say, Emily Blunt has made Julie Andrew proud. Truly. She got the posh, the attitude, the elegance, even a very good singing voice. This is not the first time I hear Emily Blunt sings. I have watched and listened to her singing in Into the Woods (2014) and she is a good singer.

I never knew about Lin-Manuel Miranda before but everyone seems to know about him. Well, he is a composer and has composed Moana (2016)‘s soundtrack. However, I have never seen him as an actor before. He played the role of Jack, a lamplighter and former apprentice of Bert from the first film. I don’t understand cockney accent so I cannot judge his accent, but apparently, Dick Van Dyke used a very bad cockney accent in the previous film. It is so bad that everyone says that it’s the worst accent ever in films. As for Lin-Manuel Miranda, well, let’s just discuss his acting rather than his accent. Both of his acting and singing voice is good. I used to think Bert is kind of the hero in Mary Poppins, but now Jack is more of the side-kick and Mary Poppins is the hero, which is good actually since Mary Poppins is the main character. Lin-Manuel Miranda has portrayed his character really well indeed.

This is the third film where Emily Blunt played alongside Meryl Streep. First being The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and the second being Into the Woods. Although Meryl Streep only took a small part in this film, she has done a very great job. Meryl being Meryl, she has shown us that she could play any eccentric roles. Each of the characters that she has played in every film is different—thanks to hair and makeup artist too. Meryl Streep played the character of Topsy, who apparently some distance cousin of Mary Poppins. I don’t think I should discuss Meryl Streep’s acting skill, because let’s face it, with  3 Oscars and 21 nominations, 8 Golden Globes win and 31 nominations, 2 BAFTAs and 15 nominations, and 2 SAGAs and 17 nominations, her acting skill is the last thing you want to comment. She is one hell of a versatile actress and can also pull off every accent given to her.

Michael Banks: Mary…
Jane Banks: Poppins!
Mary Poppins: Close your mouth, please, Michael, we are *still* not a codfish.
Mary Poppins: Jane Banks, still rather inclined to giggle, I see.
Michael Banks: Good heavens, it really is you! You seem hardly to have aged at all!
Mary Poppins: *Really*? How incredibly rude! One *never* discusses a woman’s age, Michael. Would have hoped I taught you better.
Michael Banks: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…
Jane Banks: You came back! I thought we’d never see you again.
Michael Banks: It is wonderful to see you!
Mary Poppins: Yes it ’tis, isn’t it?

Ben Whishaw played the role of adult Michael Banks and Emily Mortimer played the role of adult Jane Banks. When Michael and Jane were children, Mary Poppins came to their life to take care of them. Now that they are adult, Mary Poppins came back again to take care of Michael’s children. Thus Mary Poppins Returns suits the title. Julie Walters played the role of Michael and Jane’s long-time housekeeper. Dick Van Dyke is back, but not to reprise his role as an older Bert but as the older version of the chairman of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank. If you did not watch Mary Poppins, you would have no idea who he was in the first film. It’s not big of a deal, but since I did watch Mary Poppins, I can sense the nostalgic feeling to those who have watched Mary Poppins before. Colin Firth played the role of William Wilkins, the president of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank. He’s very good at it. There’s no doubt about it.

Of all things in Mary Poppins Returns, I do love Mary Poppins’ clothes. Yes, they are very classic and vintage, but they are also very beautiful. They are not the clothes that I would wear in daily basis, unless in some sort of vintage or costume parties, but I do wish I can wear it. They are very beautiful indeed. The settings in the film still used the same area from the previous film, yet more convincing and more beautifully done and set. Although the settings looked more modern, they looked more real and spot on. They have captured the era and put it right on the setting and even the costumes.

Like before, Mary Poppins Returns also has scenes that combined animations. Since now the technology is more advanced, the combinations are not so awkward anymore. It looks rather unique, especially when not many films used this kind of combinations. They usually used 3D animations or animations that would make the objects or subjects look pretty real, but Mary Poppins Returns still use 2D animations and made it beautiful.

As I have said earlier in this post, the story is basically the remake of Mary Poppins. Of course, there are some changes because they wanted to make a sequel, not a remake. Some new scenes were added, some new characters were introduced. However, basically, Mary Poppins still came to take care of the Banks children with her unique, magical, and nonchalant way. The lamplighters who help Mary Poppins are still there. The Admiral a.k.a. the naval officer who fires the canon is still there. The problems with the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank is still there. Everything is still there except they made it with new concepts. Fresh and new, though not totally new in my opinion. Relax, I am not complaining nor do I think it’s a bad thing to do because, in my opinion, the filmmakers have done a great job. We do need a little bit of magic in life and Mary Poppins Returns surely does give us that bit of magic.

Overall, I like Mary Poppins Returns. I think Mary Poppins Returns is a very good film. The story is good and fun, the songs are great, the costumes are great, the settings are spot on, the actors and actresses have done very well in portraying their roles. Especially Emily Blunt who managed to portray Mary Poppins in her own way. The CGI effect is great and beautifully done. It’s a fun family film. Since it’s a musical, maybe the film is not for everybody’s liking. However, if you are looking for something new and different, I think you can try Mary Poppins Returns.

I give Mary Poppins Returns 8 out of 10 stars.

😘  Toodle-oo,

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