There is something magical about a well-made musical that just gets you right in the heart, has you dancing around, and maybe brings a tear to your eye. With the reminisce of a child, Mary Poppins Returns is the magic you need.
Mary Poppins Returns starts with the Banks family in trouble; Michael Banks (Ben Wishaw) is all grown up, has three kids, but his wife has just passed away. He is short on money, and discovers his house will be repossessed unless he can pay back a huge loan. His father left him and his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) bank shares, and the only way to save the house is to find the bank share certificate. That’s when Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) arrives, takes the lost family on a whimsical magic ride, and reminds Michael what it is to be a child again.
The only problem with this plot is that it goes into two different directions with Mary Poppins teaching the children all about the magical world and helping them deal with the death of their mother, and Michael trying to save the house, take care of his children, and deal with the death of his wife himself. The two paths only come together at the very end, and this division makes for an understandable but somewhat dysfunctional plot.
However, the plot is filled with several magical adventures that reassure the audience that everything is possible, no matter how many times we are told that it is not.
These adventures are filled with amazing graphics that mix between reality and cartoon so well that the audience can’t and don’t want to separate the two. One of the few films that was able to mix the two mediums so well was Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Marry Poppins Returns was able to match that classic.
Marry Poppins Returns also had several musical numbers that give the film even more light and magic with catchy melodies, evocative lyrics, and dance numbers that will take your breath away. From heartfelt songs like “Where the Lost Things Go” to upbeat numbers like “A Cover is not the Book”, the musical numbers will take you through all ranges of emotions and leave you smiling at the end.
For the acting, Emily Blunt was filling impossibly large shoes, but managed to knock it out of the park; perfect command of facial expressions, unique portrayal of the character, and a voice that is to die for. Ben Wishaw portrayed the role of the lost and stressed father very well, with a constant sulky expression and an occasional frustrated one. The child actors all did very well, especially for their young ages.
We all need a little magic every now and then, and Mary Poppins Returns recreates the imaginative magical mindset of a child and leaves you with a smile. Who wouldn’t want that?