Mulan 2020 Review!
Walt Disney gave us Mulan back in 1998. The film won hearts all across the world. We got a princess who was more than just a meek beauty. She was beautiful, brave, and noble. When Disney announced that it will release a live-action film, I, just like other Mulan fans, was ecstatic. There were tons of debates regarding the film’s release date. But, better late than never right? I just finished watching the film and as the title of this review states, it did make me emotional.
Mulan 2020 starts with a young Mulan gathering her training to become a warrior. But, because of the tradition which tells women to bring honor to the family, the village, and the country through marriage, her father tells her to stop thinking about her ambitions. As time goes by, she becomes the best warrior of them all. You might know the story and I am not here to spoil it for you here. I am here to pour my words out as they come. So, moving on to the film, it is bright and fresh. The colors of the film are outstanding and they do your eyes good. The actors did an amazing job of re-creating our childhood and giving us something new to bask our future in.
How will you juxtapose Mulan 1998 with Mulan 2020?
If we compare both the movies in the context of the plot, I will say the live-action Mulan 2020 does not fail to identify itself as stronger and richer. Yes, if you were looking for the same story only with real people in it, you will be devastated. But, tell me, when did any live-action film just give us the same old story? The answer is never. The film’s story is richer in every context. You talk about the titular character, it’s nobler and stronger. It has more voice than it ever did. I did miss our senile and spiritual grandmother, but instead, we got an even loving younger sister.
What I loved the most about the film is the fact that it proudly refutes the fragile masculinity.
Ooh! this is where the flavor is.
Just like men how were back in the day (some are still like that today), Bori Khan thinks the witch is his slave. Little does he know that the same eagle cum witch is stronger than him by merely standing in front of him. When you just get into the movie, you feel like a witch is going to change the old plot.
However, as the film progresses, you come to love her after knowing her story. She is an exiled woman driven away by men just because she was aligned with the universe and had inexplicable powers that men know nothing of. Hence, after being alone for so many years, she starts losing every ounce of humanity. However, when you stand in front of a mirror, a mirror than unabashedly shows you the real you, you come back to your senses. She stands in front of Mulan and regathers who she truly is.
“Impossible! a woman leading men’s army and she is no scorned dog.“
Why does this film not fail to honor the legacy of ‘The Ballad of Mulan’?
In Mulan 2020, Mulan’s identity is not revealed accidentally, but, she reveals it on her own will. She knows that “a lie can only live so long.” She embraces her identity unflinchingly. She is the leader of the army. Mulan becomes the leader, a warrior, and a legend because she knows her real self. The power of chi that lies in her is not in its full force when she was Hua Jun, but is divinely orchestrated only when she is Hua Mulan. If you watch the film from a lens of newness and an open-minded point of view, you will gather that every new thing has something to offer.
Be it penetrating deep within the essence of the witch, or understanding how weak men really are when they think women can only bet their slaves.
When the virtues are fulfilled, the true essence of being a human comes out. The emperor knows by just glancing at her that she is the best warrior. This is why when Mulan rejects his offer to become the Great Guard and goes to her family, we are not left with only three virtues. But instead, along with being loyal, brave, and true, the virtue of devotion to the family also comes to existence. When you look deep into the last virtue, you realize that the entirety of the film runs of that. Mulan leaves her home to save her father. She instills vigor in her colleagues to protect them. She confronts the witch because she is family, a lost woman who just wanted to belong. The family runs deep in Asian communities and the film does not fail to fulfill that in every second of it.
To sum up, those who proudly say that the film is weak and ruined the legacy, I would say, look again, maybe you did not lose something, maybe you attained something, the greatest of them all, the value of authenticity and how it can bring out the version that you have buried deep within just because you are a coward.