“Nothing’s gone forever, only out of place.”
Mary Poppins Returns has the audience reliving the cherished classic, Mary Poppins. Mrs. Poppins is once again back to help the Banks children as Michael Banks is on the brink of losing their beloved family home. But like our previous Mary Poppins film, through magic, whimsy, and music, Mrs. Poppins takes the children on the adventure to help cope with the recent loss of their mother and the financial strain the father has been handed. Mary Poppins Returns with a burst of music and colors on screen. However, this film falls short of anything beautiful, sending the audience spinning into a fever dream of chaos.
I know the hurt that will probably come my way, but I really must say that Mary Poppins Returns falls extremely short of any grandiose expectations one might have. Emily Blunt, who plays our titular nanny, is probably one of the only good things about this movie. I have long been impressed with Blunt’s acting ability, and her talents for giving everything to the character she plays, but even her talents could not save the film from being extremely overworked. It surprised me immensely that Lin Manuel Miranda’s portrayal of Jack would have been so awful. The man who has come off of several successful projects, did nothing but make my skin crawl during the duration of the film. Basically, the production team have thrown in everything but the kitchen sink into this film, but to no avail. Where Mary Poppins Returns really hits a low is due to its over-predictable story.
It would be easy to look over a story in a children’s movie, because being that the focus is only geared to kids, it might not have the most thought-provoking ideas on screen. But with that said, I gave Poppins Returns some leeway. In the end, I could not bring myself to find anything redeeming about the narrative, basically because it was more or less a retelling of the original Mary Poppins. A father has problems. Mary comes and helps the children through music and elaborate scenery. And in the end, everyone is joyful. Hooray… What the original film had was music that would stay with you to the end. None of the music, except for maybe “Where the Lost Things Go,” really make an impression on the viewer.
Before I went to see this film, my mother told me how much she loved the first movie when she saw it, that she asked my grandmother to go and buy the record. That’s what I expected from watching this new adaptation. To have the love of Mary Poppins to continue in our hearts, as she had once touched our little hearts so many years ago. But sadly in the end, we are left with remnants of a fever dream, mixed with a plethora of antiquated chaos.
Mary Poppins Returns
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Starring: Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, and Meryl Streep